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Author tops Ohio fruit and vegetable grower meeting
By VICKI JOHNSON
Ohio Correspondent

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Larry Hollar, author of Keep Your Business Close … And Your Family Closer, is among the highlights of the Ohio Fruit and Vegetable Growers Congress, Jan. 16-18 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

The event, formerly in Toledo, will feature national experts from the University of California at Davis; Cornell University; Purdue University; USDA; North Carolina State University; University of Wisconsin-Madison and Ohio State University.

“We wanted to make it a little more centrally located for our Ohio growers,” said Tom Sachs of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. “They’ve made a lot of improvements compared to when we were here 10-12 years ago.”

During the keynote address on the morning of Jan. 18, Hollar will tell participants how to maintain a harmonious relationship between business and family. Hollar is the owner of Hollar Seeds of Colorado and has received Excellence in Exporting awards in 1994 and 2004 from the governor of Colorado. He exports products to 55 countries.

Also new this year to the three-day event and trade show are sessions on cover crops, reduced tillage systems, reduced disease pressures, soil fertility and profitable marketing techniques.

“I think we’ve got something for anyone who’s into specialty crops,” Sachs said. “We’ve got the workshops that can go in-depth on some topics.”

Jan. 16 will feature workshops on cover crops, emerging technologies, organic and sustainable farming and information for new growers.

“Our growers are recognizing the fact that there are a lot of new growers coming into the marketplace,” Sachs said. “And we want to expand knowledge on organic and sustainable-type agriculture.”

Jan. 17 will include a new disease technology workshop, environmental workshop and crop protection workshop.

On the morning of Jan. 18, there will be an awards breakfast and annual meetings, followed by a family business workshop.

Sachs said the annual trade show will include vendors with seeds, crop protection products, financial services, direct marketing supplies and irrigation products, to name a few.

“The research center is brand new in the trade show this year,” he said.

OSU researchers will interact with growers.

“One thing we’re pretty excited about is the Precision Ag Team is going to have their displays there,” he added.

The displays will demonstrate, for example, how the precise placement of seeds can cut down on the use of pesticides and herbicides.

Also, Sachs said a diagnostics team from OSU will assist producers in using technology to identify pests. For example, he said growers can use digital cameras to take pictures of pests and e-mail them to experts for identification.

“We’ve got to do something to take advantage of technology and get these problems solved,” Sachs said. “We’re encouraging people to bring their digital cameras with them.”

More than 40 sessions will offer credits for people who need pesticide recertification credits.

“If anybody’s looking for recertification credits they can get a bundle of them here,” Sachs said.

The conference is being sponsored by Ohio State University, the Ohio Vegetable and Potato Growers Assoc. and the Ohio Fruit Growers Society. The event will be in conjunction with the Ohio Direct Agricultural Marketing Assoc. and the Mid American Ag and Hort Human Resource conferences.

For more details, contact Tom Sachs at 614-246-8290 or e-mail tsachs@ofbf.org, or contact Kathy Lutz at 614-246-8292 or e-mail klutz@ofbf.org

Exhibitor, registration and hotel information is available at www.ohiofruit.org or www.ohiovegetables.org

Location information for the Greater Columbus Convention Center may be found at www.columbusconventions.com

Published in the January 11, 2006 issue of Farm World.

1/11/2006