SAVANNAH, GA — The 2017 Southeastern Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference drew around 3,305 attendees and 286 exhibitors to this historic city Jan. 5-8, offering education sessions on specific crops, organics, unmanned systems in precision agriculture, food safety, roadside markets, and silent and live auctions. Exhibit space in the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center was sold out, along with rooms at all four of the host hotels.
Attendance was a record 3,500 in 2016. For this year’s show, the 15th annual, attendance was hampered by snow and ice in Georgia and the Carolinas, said Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit & Vegetables Growers Association, which with the Georgia and South Carolina peach councils is a prime sponsor of the annual event. “Overall, we were pleased with the attendance,” he said.
The trade show floor at the recent Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference in Savannah, GA, featured items ranging from live plants, tractors and farm equipment, a clear plastic elephant sculpture to computer software.
A forklift bin of potatoes drew a crowd at the recent Southeast conference in Savannah. Bad weather held attendance to about 3,300, below last year’s record.
Betsy Dorton, farm to school coordinator for the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, was inviting farmers to create profiles that will be shared with schools and other foodservice institutions to encourage local produce-buying.
John Hoos, business development manager for CHEP USA in Alpharetta, GA, talks with Matt Cornwell, marketing specialist with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture and a convention coordinator at the Southeast regional conference.
John A. Rouse of Kinston, NC, and John Walker of Wauchula, FL, both in sales for Miller Chemical & Fertilizer in Hanover, PA, manned their booth on the trade show floor in Savannah, one of about 300 exhibitors at the event.
Caroline Carozza, a sales associate with the Columbia, SC, office of Interstate Container in Cambridge, MD, poses with Interstate’s symbol, a clear plastic elephant that looks like an ice sculpture.
James W. Brake, in sales for the Southern Container Corp. in Wilson, NC, welcomes two potential customers to his booth at the Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference.
One of close to two dozen exhibitors for growers, shippers and packers at the Southeast Regional fruit and vegetable show was Mobile FarmWare of Clinton, NC, which handles payroll and accounting systems, represented by Luis Sandoval and Brad Taylor.
Chalmers Carr III, president of Titan Farms in Ridge Spring, SC, and Greg Reighard of Clemson University confer after their presentations at the peach educational session on Jan. 6.