Back by popular demand, the winter North American Berry Conference will again be a joint conference with the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo. The meetings will be held December 4-6, overlapping with the Great Lakes Expo, which runs Dec. 4-8.

The first two days of the North American Berry Conference will be held in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids. Following a continental breakfast, Britt Burton-Freeman, UC Davis Department of Nutrition, will make a presentation on "Heart Health, Obesity and Diabetes, Berries Can Make a Difference."

Following the general session will be an offering of workshops and roundtables, focused on three primary tracks: Caneberry, Tunnels/Organic, and Strawberry. The topics include disease management, production, spraying techniques, Facebook marketing, smart phones, technology and more.

The berry sessions on Tuesday will be incorporated into the Great Lakes Expo workshops, with a full day track on Strawberries, and another full day track on caneberries.

Other Tuesday workshops include a session on Getting Started in Rasberries and Blackberries, by Dr. Marvin Pritts (Cornell) and Dr. Eric Hanson (Michigan State); and a session on Create a Food Safety Plan for Your Farm, Right Here, Right Now, led by Megan Shoenfelt, a Food Safety Auditor and a small-scale raspberry producer.

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