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US: Fruit and vegetable growers to host annual meeting

Leaders in fruit and vegetable production will converge in Marshalltown Thursday and Friday at the annual meeting of the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. The two-day IFVGA conference will attract 150 to 200 people to the Best Western Regency Inn and will feature educational sessions, a trade show and seminars. Sec. of Agriculture Bill Northey will address attendees on Thursday morning.

Anyone interested in fruit and vegetable production is invited to attend. `Anybody that has an interest in fruits and vegetables would really enjoy it`, said IFVGA president Lyle Ditmars from Council Bluffs `If you want to learn something you just can come and hang out.` Ditmars noted many of the sessions will deal with marketing products with a focus on providing agritourism.

Agritourism involves providing customers with the rural experience along with the product. `The country is becoming less rural and a lot of people donít have that rural experience and itís something we are offering to people`, Ditmars said. Among the several presentations and seminars many will be led by experts from Iowa State University. `A number of our speakers are from Iowa State University and they possess a wealth of information`, Ditmars said. Cost of the meeting is $55 per day which includes lunch for members. An additional cost of $35 will be extended to non-members.

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