Christmas tree farmers Winter Convention

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Christmas Tree Farmers Association of NY has announced that their 2018 Winter Convention will be held Jan. 18-20, at the Holiday Inn Liverpool in Syracuse, NY. The program kicks off on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. with an informal reception in the exhibit hall. More than 20 vendors are expected to be present.

The Convention program includes two days of educational programming – with a total of 16 workshop sessions, several of which are geared towards meeting the needs of new and beginning growers.

People thinking of getting into Christmas tree farming and experienced growers are also encouraged to attend. This will be an excellent opportunity to network with other growers, have one-on-one interactions with the industry’s leading suppliers, and learn from experts in the field.

Both days, there will be several opportunities to receive NYS-DEC Pesticide Applicator Credits including at a special session on Friday afternoon on what’s new in the marketplace and how to become certified.

Dr John Frampton from North Carolina State University is scheduled to speak about Fraser fir root disease including the outcomes of research that is underway in North Carolina related to disease resistant Fraser seed sources; and about other fir varieties that may be more promising.  There will also be a session presented by Jill O’Donnell, a Senior Extension Educator from Michigan State University Extension, on fertilizer management including the critical role that soil analysis plays in a successful nutrient management program. Topics to be covered in this session include: understanding your soil test, choosing the right fertilizers, and developing a program for optimum plant growth on your farm.

The Friday luncheon keynote will be delivered by Jessica Brooks from NYS Dept of Ag and Markets. She will provide an update on the new NYS Grown and Certified Program that is now opened for the first time to Christmas tree farms for participation. NYS Ag and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball will also speak during the Friday luncheon; and a person from his office or from NY Farm Bureau has been invited share information about signage and other requirements for farms that are open to the public. This is as a result of the newly authorized inherent risk legislation that limits farms’ liability for visitors’ accidents and injuries.

On Friday evening, the banquet entertainment will be something the whole family can enjoy – an easy-listening, musical performance group from Syracuse University.

The program will also include the annual Association awards presentation, an update from the national Christmas Tree Promotion Board, a wrap-up on the 2017 Trees for Troops program activities, drawings for prizes to benefit the CTFANY scholarship program, and a trade show with industry vendors.

When finalized, the full schedule of events will be available for download from the CTFANY website – . A registration form is available now on-line or by phoning the CTFANY office on 518-854-7386. Deadline for early bird registration is December 28; and deadline for room block at Holiday Inn at the special group rate is December 24 (call the Holiday Inn on 315-457-1122, mention Christmas Trees).

—Christmas Tree Farmers Association of NY

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