The 2005 Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference is scheduled for Jan. 6-9 in Savannah, Ga. This is the largest fruit and vegetable educational conference and trade show held in the Southeastern United States.

Southeast Farm Press is a media sponsor of this year’s conference, which will be held at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center.

Informative educational sessions are planned that will cover all facets of fruit and vegetable production. There will be special production and marketing sessions targeted for each of the sponsoring commodity organizations.

During the two-day program, more than 60 hours of production training, pest management information and marketing updates will be offered to conference participants. In addition, agricultural specialists and researchers will present results of their studies in a poster session.

All educational sessions will be held at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center, across the Savannah River on Hutchinson Island.

In addition to the commodity production sessions, special Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Food Safety, Organic Production and Roadside Markets Workshops will be held.

The educational program is designed to help growers stay competitive in today’s market. Nationally known speakers will offer participants an opportunity to increase their knowledge base and market share.

Educational sessions will cover peaches, vegetables, Vidalia Onions, organic production, watermelons, blueberries, bramble, pecans and wine grapes.

The general session will feature several special speakers on the Saturday morning of the conference. Attendees will have an opportunity to hear the latest update on Washington, D.C., and Georgia legislation. Several members of the U.S. Congress have been invited to speak at the general session.

Check www.gfvga.org for speaker announcements and updates.

The 2005 Trade Show will offer a large variety of vendors and suppliers to the fruit and vegetable industry. With more than 180 companies already committed to the conference, the trade show provides the opportunity to compare products, talk with industry representatives, observe demonstrations, learn about the latest in fresh produce technology, and network with other growers.

The trade show is open to conference participants on Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Food service will be available in the trade show area for lunch or snacks.

The three-day registration is the most economical way to enjoy all conference activities. The fee includes all educational seminars, admission to the trade show, all breaks, all receptions, Saturday lunch at the trade show, and a continental roundtable breakfast on Sunday morning.

The three-day registration is $95 if you pre-register before Dec. 17. After Dec. 17, full conference registration will be $130. A special registration rate is available for each day of the conference for those who can attend only one day.

For registration information, call the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Association at 877-99GFVGA or e-mail at info@gfvga.org. Information also is available at www.gfvga.org. Information also is available from the South Carolina Peach Council at 478-956-6418 or e-mail janice@uga.edu.