We’re currently developing our 2018 program.

Here are some topics you can expect to see:

  • Pest & Disease Management
  • Alternative Crops
  • Grower Panel
  • Foreign Competition
  • Maximizing Labor Resources
  • The Future of Mechanization
  • Hand’s On Laboratory Training for Pest & Disease Identification

See our 2017 Program


8:15 – 8:30 am

Welcome and Introductions

Jack Rechcigl
Center Director, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, UF/IFAS

Jack Payne
Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources, UF/IFAS


8:30 – 10:00 am

State of the Industry Panel

Discussing hot topics in Florida’s specialty crop sector

Mike Stuart
President of Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association

Reggie Brown
Executive Vice President of Florida Tomato Exchange

Dudley Calfee
President of Florida Blueberry Growers Association

Kenneth Parker
Executive Director of Florida Strawberry Growers Association

10:00 – 10:30 am

Break / Visit with Exhibitors

Alternative Crops/Disease Control  Track

Moderator: Alicia Whidden, UF/IFAS Extension

10:30 – 10:50 am

Downy mildew on cucurbits: Getting the most out of your fungicide program

Gary Vallad
UF/IFAS, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center

10:50 – 11:10 am

Managing watermelon vine decline and other viruses

Scott Adkins

11:10 – 11:30 am

Managing whiteflies in Florida vegetables

Hugh Smith
UF/IFAS, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center

11:30 – 11:50 am

Blueberry production and new variety selection

Jeff Williamson

11:50 am – 12:10 pm

How early can we go? A new strawberry for Florida

Vance Whitaker
UF/IFAS, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center

12:10 – 12:30 pm

The potential of artichoke and hops production in Florida

Shinsuke Agehara
UF/IFAS, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center

Farm Automation & Mechanization Track

Moderator: Crystal Snodgrass, UF/IFAS Extension

10:30 – 11:00 am

New Technologies for Precision Agriculture

Arnold Schumann
UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center

11:00 – 11:20 am

The development and commercialization of a strawberry harvesting robot

Gary Wishnatzki
Co-Founder of Harvest CROO Robotics

11:20 – 11:40 am

Machine vision and precision herbicide application for vegetable production systems

Nathan Boyd
UF/IFAS, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center

11:40 am – 12:00 pm

Breeding compact growth fresh tomato varieties for mechanical harvest.

Sam Hutton
UF/IFAS, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center Education Center

12:00 – 12:30 pm

Speaker panel discussion and attendee Q&A

12:30 – 1:30 pm


1:30 – 2:45 pm
3:00 – 4:15 pm

Hands-On Pest and Disease ID Laboratory Training

1:30 – 4:30 pm

Field Tours