February 4, 2017

The 102nd New Jersey State Agricultural Convention and Trade Show will be held February 7-9 at the Harrah’s Resort and Waterfront Conference Center in Atlantic City. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture is hosting the convention in cooperation with the Vegetable Growers Association of New Jersey and Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

The 2017 convention and trade show will open Tuesday, February 7, with educational sessions held by the Vegetable Growers Association. Highlights from the program include sessions on financial risk management and budgets, organic agriculture, sweet corn, farm brewery opportunities and regulations as well as drones and big data for agriculture. There also will be in-depth workshops on opportunities and challenges for starting a vineyard, resources to help young and beginning farmers grow their direct marketing business and applying big data to small areas — fine tuning production and pest control. A full schedule of Vegetable Growers events is available at http://njveggies.org/2017%20VGA%20program%20near%20final%2010.pdf.

The New Jersey State Agricultural Convention will open on Wednesday, February 8 and will include messages from New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher and Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Monique Purcell. There will also be remarks from state assemblymen Bob Andrzejczak and Vincent Mazzeo on Wednesday afternoon. New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney will be the keynote speaker Wednesday night.

On Thursday morning there will be a panel discussion with various agriculture-related industry representatives and then a special address from Lt. Governor Guadagno at 11:30 a.m. Thursday afternoon there will be a report from Dr. Robert Goodman, the Executive Dean of the Rutgers School of Environmental & Biological Sciences & NJ Experiment Station, and election of two State Board of Agriculture members and one member of the Fish and Game Council.

The trade show will feature vendors and representatives offering a wide range of agricultural products and services.

The New Jersey State Agricultural Convention will take place at the Harrah’s Resort and Waterfront Conference Center, 777 Harrah’s Blvd., Atlantic City, NJ. Convention highlights for Wednesday, February 8 include:

9:30 a.m. – Messages from Secretary Fisher and Assistant Secretary Monique Purcell
10:30 a.m. – Upcoming Policy Trends Affecting Agriculture: Craig Regelburgge, Senior Vice President of Industry Advocacy & Research, AmericanHort
2 p.m. – Remarks from NJ Assemblymen Bob Andrzejczak and Vincent Mazzeo
2:30 p.m. – Livestock Owners’ Concerns in Humane Issues
4 p.m. – NJ FFA Speaker, Myranda Bond, NJ FFA President
7 p.m. – NJ Senate President Stephen Sweeney at the Joint Agriculture Convention Dinner (Avalon Ballroom 30 – Entrance Avalon 3)

Convention highlights for Thursday, February 9 include:

10 a.m. – Panel Discussion on How to Successfully Utilize H2A Guest Worker Program
11 a.m. – U.S. Produce Policy Outlook for 2017
11:30 a.m. – Special Address from Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno
1:30 p.m. – NJ 4-H Youth Speaker, Will Staats, Somerset County
1:45 p/m. – Report from Rutgers School of Environmental & Biological Sciences & NJ Experiment Station
3 p.m. – Elections: State Board of Agriculture and Fish and Game Council

For more information about the convention, visit http://nj.gov/agriculture/news/hottopics/approved/topics161223convention.html

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