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.