Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO
Michigan Greenhouse Growers EXPO

2013 Special Events


Farm Market Bus Tour (return to top)

Monday, December 9
Departing from the Amway Grand Plaza

The sixth annual Farm Market Bus Tour will be held on Monday, December 9, the day before the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable & Farm Market EXPO opens. Last year’s tour filled three buses and attracted farm marketers from 18 states and four Canadian provinces. In 2013, attendees will visit six top farm market and agri-tourism locations in southwest Michigan. The tour stops are all different from past tours.

The tour is sponsored by the Fruit Growers News and Vegetable Growers News with support from the Michigan Agri-Tourism Association.

The Farm Market Bus Tour is a great opportunity to network with other farm marketers, learn new marketing tips and discuss strategies. While traveling on the buses between stops, there will be interactive discussions to share information and research findings with others on the tour, which will be moderated by Michigan State University Extension educators.

The cost of the tour is $155 per person. This includes lunch and snacks. If you register after November 15, the cost is $179 and subject to availability.

Registration is limited. Register by using the form on the back cover or register online. Click here for more information on the tour, including descriptions of each of the host farm markets that will be visited. Call Jim McClure at 734-677-0503 or email him at jmcclure@managedbyamr.com if you have questions or need additional information about the tour. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to see and learn about new possibilities for your market.


Michigan Interagency Migrant Services Committee Meeting (return to top)

Tuesday, December 10, 10 a.m. – Noon
River Overlook (upper level) Room E-F, DeVos Place Convention Center

The Michigan Interagency Migrant Services Committee is a forum for statewide coordination of services provided for migrant and seasonal farm workers. The committee is holding its December meeting at the EXPO. Growers are invited to attend for an opportunity to learn more about the services available to migrant workers and their families.


Industry Luncheon (return to top)

Tuesday, December 10, Noon - 1:30 p.m.
Pantlind Ballroom, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

The present and future of agricultural teaching, research and extension will be the focus of this year’s luncheon program. Key leaders from Michigan State University led by Fred Poston, Dean of MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), will listen to comments and answer questions from those attending in a “town hall” style discussion of where we are now and what’s ahead for the college, the experiment station (AgBioResearch) and extension. Also participating in the discussion will be Doug Buhler, Director of AgBioResearch; Tom Coon, Director of MSU Extension; and Kelly Millenbah, CANR’s Associate Dean and Director of Academic and Student Affairs.

Tickets are $25 and are available through pre-registration only.


Grape Industries Luncheon and Discussion (return to top)

Tuesday, December 10, 11:15 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Grand View Room, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. ($20 ticket includes buffet luncheon): Join the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council’s Research and Education Committee and researchers from Michigan State University for a discussion of recent research projects funded by the Council.

Tickets are available through pre-registration. A limited number of tickets will be available at registration on Tuesday morning.

12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. (no ticket required – does not include lunch): Discussion of the Michigan Wine Collaborative, an industry initiative to raise funds to co-operatively support industry needs. This discussion will continue at a reception following the educational sessions in the afternoon.


Midwest Pickle Association and Pickle & Pepper Research Committee for MSU (return to top)

Tuesday, December 10, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Gallery Overlook (upper level) Room G-H, DeVos Place Convention Center

Members of the Midwest Pickle Association and the Pickle & Pepper Research Committee for MSU are invited to attend this special reporting and business program. The program schedule will be as follows:

  • Cucumber research reporting session and working lunch (11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.)
  • Brine cutting demonstration (2:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.)
  • Pickle & Pepper Research Committee meeting (3 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.)
  • Midwest Pickle Association business meeting (3:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.)

  • MSHS Annual Meeting (return to top)

    Tuesday, December 10, 4:30 p.m.
    Grand Gallery (lower level) Room C, DeVos Place Convention Center

    The annual meeting of the Michigan State Horticultural Society (MSHS) will include director elections and reports on activities. All members are welcome to attend.


    Meet the Buyers Reception (return to top)

    Tuesday, December 10, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
    Center Concourse, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

    Fruit and vegetable growers will have an opportunity to connect with retail, wholesale and institutional buyers at this event to learn how to get more of their fresh produce into the value chain and onto store shelves. This event is hosted by Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS), in partnership with the MSU Product Center and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, with support from a number of industry sponsors. More than 400 farmers attended this popular event last year. A Pre-Meet the Buyers workshop will be offered on Tuesday morning for growers wanting suggestions on how to maximize this opportunity to meet and connect with buyers.


    Michigan Floriculture Growers Council Reception and Annual Meeting (return to top)

    Tuesday, December 10, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
    River Overlook (upper level) Room E-F, DeVos Place Convention Center

    All Michigan Floriculture Growers Council members and other interested industry professionals are invited to attend this event. This will be an opportunity for an enjoyable social time and informative discussion of the Council’s activities. The Council’s annual meeting will be held as part of this event. Light refreshments will be served.


    Michigan AgriTourism Association Gathering (return to top)

    Tuesday, December 10, 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
    Gallery Overlook (upper level) Room G-H, DeVos Place Convention Center

    Held just prior to the popular Farm Marketing Roundtable, this gathering is for all Michigan farm market and agri-tourism operators who wish to learn more about the Michigan Agri-Tourism Association. This will be an enjoyable social time and an opportunity for informal discussion about the work of this organization. The association will hold a brief annual meeting during the gathering.


    Prayer Breakfast (return to top)

    Wednesday, December 11, 7:00 a.m.
    Pantlind Ballroom, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

    This event provides a time for Christian fellowship and an opportunity to pray for our industry and country. Bill Butterworth, who spoke at last year’s Prayer Breakfast, will join us again to provide the message at this year’s event. Since Bill is returning to the 2013 Expo to give a keynote presentation and present a workshop in the farm marketing program, he graciously accepted an invitation to speak again at the Prayer Breakfast. Those who attended last year’s event know that Bill uses his wit and warmth to bring a message of love, laughter and hope. He regularly contributes to publications such as Home Life, Moody Monthly, and Focus on the Family’s Single Parent Families magazines. His past experience includes serving for six years as Director of Counseling Ministries with Chuck Swindoll’s radio ministry, Insight for Living. He also served on the faculty at Florida Bible College for eight years. When he is not traveling for his numerous speaking engagements, Bill resides in Newport Beach, California.

    Tickets are $15 and should be purchased through pre-registration or on Tuesday at registration.


    Michigan Apple Growers Luncheon (return to top)

    Wednesday, December 11, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
    Ambassador Ballroom, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

    This is a free luncheon program open to all Michigan apple growers. The luncheon is co-sponsored by the Michigan Apple Committee and a number of industry sponsors. A featured speaker will address an issue of importance to apple growers. This year’s program will also feature the crowning of the 2014 Michigan Apple Queen by reigning Michigan Apple Queen, Courtney Heeren of Grand Rapids. Updates from the Michigan Apple Committee and USApple will also be provided during the program.


    MVC Annual Meeting (return to top)

    Wednesday, December 11, 11:15 A.m.
    Grand Gallery (lower level) Room C, DeVos Place Convention Center

    The annual meeting of the Michigan Vegetable Council (MVC) will include director elections and reports on activities. All members are welcome to attend.


    EXPO Banquet (return to top)

    Wednesday, December 11, 6:30 p.m.
    Ambassador Ballroom, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

    Dick Posthumus, Senior Advisor to Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder, will be the featured speaker at the EXPO banquet. Dick’s record of public service includes four years in the Michigan House of Representatives and 16 years in the Michigan State Senate, including eight years as Senate Majority Leader. He also served four years as Lieutenant Governor of Michigan with Governor John Engler. In his present position, Dick serves as the Snyder administration’s lead liaison with the state legislature. Dick was raised on a dairy farm in Alto, MI and maintains ownership in an 800-acre cash crop farm in this part of the state. He is a long-time advocate for agriculture. This will be a great opportunity to hear about the important role agriculture will play in Michigan’s future economic growth.

    The banquet program will also include recognition of people who have made outstanding contributions to Michigan’s fruit and vegetable industries. In addition, industry scholarship recipients will be recognized and the winner of this year’s cider contest will be announced.

    Tickets are $35 and advance purchase through pre-registration is recommended. A limited number of tickets will be available at registration until noon on Wednesday.


    Cider Contest (return to top)

    Wednesday, December 7, 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Gallery Overlook (upper level) G-H, DeVos Place Convention Center

    The cider contest will judge the best cider produced by Michigan cider makers (only Michigan cider producers are eligible for the contest). Here are some important details for the contest:

    • To enter, cider producers must submit two 1-gallon cider jugs at the Exhibitor Registration desk in the Grand Gallery concourse in DeVos Place on Tuesday, December 10, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or on Wednesday, December 11, from 9 a.m. to noon. No entries will be accepted after noon on Wednesday.
    • Cider samples must be thawed by 1 p.m. on Wednesday (this is the responsibility of each cider producer, not the contest coordinator).
    • Cider contest judging will be on Wednesday afternoon. Judging will be held in one of the upper level Grand Gallery meeting rooms and will be open for viewing starting at 1:30 p.m.
    • Winners will be announced at the EXPO Banquet on Wednesday evening. First place receives a plaque and a traveling trophy. Second and third places receive a plaque.
    • Samples of the winning ciders will be available to taste in the Grand Gallery of DeVos Place on Thursday morning.
    • Entry forms are available in advance by contacting Bob Tritten, MSU Extension (810-244-8555; tritten@msu.edu). Forms can also be downloaded from the Great Lakes EXPO’s website.


    Greenhouse Bus Tour (return to top)

    Thursday, December 12
    Departing from the Amway Grand Plaza at 8:30 a.m.

    Three of west Michigan’s leading greenhouse operations and the new Grand Rapids Downtown Market will be visited on the Greenhouse Bus Tour. This is a special event at the 2013 Michigan Greenhouse Growers EXPO. The tour will take place on Thursday, December 12. It will be an all-day tour departing the convention site at 8:30 a.m. and returning by 3:30 p.m.

    Consider joining other greenhouse industry growers on this tour to see retail, wholesale and propagation operations that are energy-efficient, mechanized operations that grow high quality plants for the market place. Greenhouses to be visited include:

    • Mast Young Plants, Grand Rapids, MI
    • Spring Meadow Nursery, Grand Haven, MI
    • Countryside Greenhouse, Allendale, MI
    • The Downtown Market, Grand Rapids, MI

    The cost of the tour is $79 per person. This includes transportation to the greenhouse stops, lunch and refreshments. A minimum of 20 participants will be needed for this event to occur. The networking opportunities at this event will be significant.

    Registration is limited! Register online. Click here for more information on the tour. If you need additional information about the tour, call Thomas Dudek, MSU Extension-Ottawa County at 616-994-4542. This will be a great opportunity to see and learn about new possibilities for your greenhouse.


    Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance (MOFFA) Annual Meeting (return to top)

    Thursday, December 12, 3:30 - 5 p.m.
    Gallery Overlook (upper level) Room G-H, DeVos Place Convention Center

    This meeting and social time is open to everyone interested in organic agriculture and community food systems. Following a brief business meeting, there will be a social hour with refreshments, networking opportunities and interesting conversation.

December
9-11, 2014

Sponsored by
Michigan State
Horticultural Society

and
Michigan
Vegetable Council

in cooperation with
Michigan State
University Extension
Sponsored by
Metropolitan Detroit
Flower Growers Association

and
Western Michigan
Greenhouse Association

in cooperation with
Michigan State
University Extension