Chattanooga pre-registration closes Sept. 30


SPRING HILL, Tenn. The quality of fruits and vegetables cannot be improved after harvest, only maintained, so says Annette Wszelaki, vegetable production specialist with University of Tennessee Extension. “High quality vegetables result from sound production practices, proper handling during harvest and appropriate postharvest handling and storage.”

On Oct. 5, Wszelaki and David Lockwood from the UT Department of Plant Sciences will present a four-hour workshop designed to help growers learn about harvesting, storage, direct marketing and merchandising their products. “Decision Making at Harvest and Beyond" will present information about vegetable and fruit variety selection for direct and wholesale markets, production topics and choosing the best time and how to harvest fruit crops for the appropriate market. Storage conditions, which vary among different fruit crops, and the impact of ideal and practical types of storage also will be discussed.

During the workshop Hal Pepper and Megan Bruch from the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture will present business-related information useful to growers who plan to direct market their products.

Participants will learn tips on maintaining product quality, enticing customers with attractive displays and providing excellent customer service. Direct farm marketers will also learn general pricing fundamentals and sales tax rules, which can be confusing to sellers of farm products.

This workshop will be for the commercial grower as well as for the beginning, small-scale and home grower who is considering selling at a farmers market or roadside stand.

The workshop in Chattanooga begins at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time and ends at 5:30 p.m.

There is no registration fee for the workshop, but pre-registration is required as space is limited. A light meal is included. Information about this workshop is available on the CPA website at
https://ag.tennessee.edu/cpa. Click on “Educational Events” and on “Workshops” to access the workshop brochure and registration form. Mail the completed registration form to Tom Stebbins at the Hamilton County Extension Office or email it to tstebbins@utk.edu.

The “Decision Making at Harvest and Beyond” workshop was developed by the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture through an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. Funding is provided through a specialty crop block grant that seeks to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop growers.

The Center for Profitable Agriculture is a joint effort of University of Tennessee Extension and the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation. UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the UT Institute of Agriculture. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issues at the local, state and national levels.

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Contact: 

Hal Pepper, UT Center for Profitable Agriculture, 931-486-2777,
hal.pepper@utk.edu