Due to rising health and safety concerns over COVID-19, the WPVGA has decided to make significant changes to its annual Grower Education Conference and Industry Show.
The Grower Education Conference will take place on February 2 and 3, 2021 virtually, via zoom. An online platform will host pre-recorded video presentations by all invited speakers, and those same speakers will appear live via zoom at their scheduled presentation times. The conference will run from 8:20 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2 and again from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 3. A full schedule will be released in January. Every effort is being made to bring outstanding speakers and topics of interest to potato and vegetable growers.
All WPVGA funded researchers will provide a research report on the conference website. These reports will be in pdf format and will represent a summary of the research progress. Research reports will be compiled and included in the 2021 Conference Proceedings. Complete Proceedings will be available online and printed copies will also be available via mail upon request.
The Annual Industry Show will not be held in person in 2021. In its place, up to ten WPVGA Associate Division exhibitor presentations will be scheduled during the Grower Education Conference on Feb. 2-3. The exhibitor presentations will consist of ten-minute videos along with live, virtual presenters. These presentations will feature products or services that are either new or newly relevant in light of current issues facing our industry and will clearly demonstrate how the product or service brings value to growers.
The annual Industry Awards Banquet will also not be held in person in 2021. Industry awards will be presented virtually, via zoom during the Grower Education Conference.
Registration information and further details about these events will be announced in the coming months.
“The decision to cancel the in-person conference, show and annual awards banquet is unfortunate, but clearly the responsible thing to do,” said WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan. “We have to put the health and safety of our members and staff above all else. We are all looking forward to a time when we can resume face-to-face meetings along with large social gatherings. Unfortunately, the current COVID crisis in Wisconsin will not allow that to happen any time soon. I’m confident in the strength of our industry and I know that we will make the best of this difficult situation.”