“The Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference has become one of the best production-oriented conferences in the nation and the largest educational conference and trade show in the Southeastern United States.”

As a grower, vendor, or supplier to the fruit and vegetable industry, you are invited to attend the Southeastern Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference in Savannah, Ga., on Jan. 7-10, 2010, at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center.

The Southeast Regional Conference has become one of the best production-oriented conferences in the nation and the largest educational conference and trade show in the Southeastern United States. Producers, buyers, sellers, decision-makers and industry leaders find innovative solutions at the conference each year.

Whether discovering new products and services on the trade show floor, learning about the latest produce trends at one of the educational programs, or attending one of the special events throughout the weekend, participants will be in the midst of some of the best in the Southeast.

The 2010 trade show will allow participants to compare products, talk with industry representatives, observe demonstrations, learn about the latest in fresh produce technology, and network with other growers.

Specialized educational programs will include information on blackberries and raspberries, blueberries, muscadines, pecans, peaches, strawberries, Vidalia onions, and a program on vegetables. There will also be programs featuring roadside markets and organic production techniques and trends.

Special events will also be held throughout the weekend, including a silent auction running throughout the conference weekend. Friday features a welcome reception and live auction on the trade show floor before a crisis management forum featuring speakers prepared to discuss product recalls and coordinating with the FDA.

The general session on Saturday will have several special guests and speakers, including several members of the U.S. Congress (confirmation of the speakers will be made in December based on congressional schedules for January). In addition to the legislative updates, individuals and groups will be recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to the fruit and vegetable industry.

A reception Saturday night at the Westin Savannah Harbor will offer participants a chance to unwind and network with growers and vendors.

Sunday morning’s roundtable will provide a forum for opinions and input on the 2010 program of work to be adopted by the GFVGA Board of Directors. GFVGA, GA/SC Peach Councils, Watermelon, Muscadine, Strawberry, Blueberry, Onion, Pecan, Blackberry/Raspberry and Organic Associations are invited Sunday morning from 8:30-10:30 a.m.

For participants, spouses, or guests also in attendance, the Greenbrier Spa at the Westin is offering a 10 percent discount on any spa service. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please contact the spa directly at (912) 201-2250.

Registration fees vary by day and program. Early participants receive a discount if registered by Dec. 15. Space is limited for select programs.

The Southeast Regional Conference is sponsored by the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and the Georgia Peach Council. The conference is held in partnership with Clemson University, the Georgia Blueberry Growers Association, the Georgia Muscadine Association, Georgia Organics Inc., the Georgia Pecan Association, the Georgia Strawberry Association, the Georgia Watermelon Association, Georgia/South Carolina Certified Roadside Markets, South Carolina Muscadine Growers, the South Carolina Peach Council, South Carolina Strawberry Growers, the South Carolina Vegetable Association, the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium, the University of Georgia and the Vidalia Onion Committee.

For more information about registering for the conference, contact the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, P.O. Box 2945, LaGrange, Ga., 30241, or call toll free 1-877-994-3842. Information also can be found at the Web site http://www.gfvga.org.