Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers offer two days of learning on Feb. 19-20

The Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association’s Fourth Annual Conference Feb. 19 to 20 at the Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel, will focus on top-priority topics for Colorado produce growers, including finding prospective new produce buyers and learning about how farms can best handle communication during a crisis. This year’s conference has expanded to a two-day format.

The ever-popular grower-buyer networking session returns and will be from 3 to 5 p.m. on Feb. 19. Kenny Meyer, Wholefoods Market, has participated in past sessions and says, “Our purchasing team looks forward each year to the CFVGA conference and to the grower buyer networking session. We are proud to have an extensive selection of quality producer partners throughout Colorado and are always seeking new and long-lasting relationships. Through these networking sessions, we have been introduced to two innovative, passionate, quality-minded, food-safety focused producers who we hope will be part of our family farm partnerships for many years to come.”

Growers also will have the opportunity to learn about crisis preparedness with Diane Mulligan, president of M&C Communication, who will speak on effective crisis communication on Feb. 20 at 9:45 a.m. and again at 11 a.m. as part of a workshop panel.

“The first step in handling a crisis is not to let it surprise you,” said Mulligan, who will teach attendees to realize potential crisis exposure and how to get in front of the story by engaging media and the consumer. “The consumer tends to pull for the underdog. Helping growers prepare for challenges by telling their story before problems occur can make all the difference in successfully managing a crisis.”

The conference will also feature speakers on food safety, labor, nutrition, soil health, organic and conventional disease control and produce marketing. Three hundred are expected to attend, including over 35 exhibitors and more than 40 of the most innovative produce growers in Colorado.

More information on the CFVGA conference is available at Conference rates go up after Feb. 5.

The CFVGA is comprised of more than 250 members, including growers of all sizes and types of production throughout the state, as well as representatives of allied industries. The Colorado fruit and vegetable growing sector contributes nearly $300 million to Colorado at the farm gate and is multiplied as it goes through the distribution chain. Over 60,000 Colorado acres are in fruit and vegetable production.