UACES Facebook Sustainable systems, risk management on Horticulture Industries Show agenda
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Sustainable systems, risk management on Horticulture Industries Show agenda

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FORT SMITH, Ark. – Sustainable agricultural systems, risk management and social media marketing are among the topics on the agenda for the Jan. 16-17 Horticulture Industries Show, to be held at the Fort Smith Holiday Inn City Center.

“This is a perfect opportunity to interact with horticulture sector participants to enhance awareness of issues impacting industry and understanding the latest developments and innovations,” said Ron Rainey, professor with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, and co-director for both the Southern Risk Management Education Center and the Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability.

“Each year, show leadership offers a comprehensive conference that addresses all aspects of the diverse horticulture sector,” he said. “The conference offers concurrent sessions, general session speakers, and a trade show to help farmers and industry stakeholders to enhance the sector.”

The Arkansas and Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Services are among the sponsors, along with Arkansas State Horticultural Society; OSU’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture; Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture; Tulsa Community College, Sam Roberts Noble Foundation; and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

Advance registration is $50 for both days or $37 for one day. A spouse and up to two additional adults from the same farm/business may register for $35 each. Advance registration is due by Dec. 24. Registration after Dec. 24 or on-site registration is $80 per person for both days, or $45 for one day. Additional adults from the same farm/business may register for $40 each.

Conference info is available at

Emily Oakley and Michael Appel, owners of Three Springs Farm in Oaks, Oklahoma, will serve as keynote speakers. They have traveled the world to study sustainable agricultural systems before starting their own diverse vegetable farm in 2003. During the off-season, they participate in farmer-to-farmer exchanges with other growers around the world and work on local and national food/agricultural issues.

Merrit Taylor, professor with OSU’s Department of Agricultural Economics, will share information on risk management, production and marketing management, and marketing to the Hispanic community.

The concurrent educational sessions will cover topics such as hydroponic production of greens and herbs, social media marketing, insects and diseases in Christmas trees, web-based tools to connect with agriculture, urban forestry, starting a food business, cover crops for vegetable crops, growing mushrooms in your home, growing container trees, creating topiaries for garden display, and much more.

For more information about horticulture contact your county extension office or visit

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

By Mary Hightower
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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