The University of Florida Institute of Food Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has selected AgNet Media as the new show manager for the Florida Ag Expo. The annual event, which brings growers and industry together, is hosted by the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center(GCREC) in Wimauma.
“We are thrilled to be working with AgNet Media,” says Jack Rechcigl, GCREC professor and center director. “AgNet was selected because of the great job it has done producing Citrus Expo — including the attendance the event draws and the company’s professionalism.”
The Florida Ag Expo launched in 2006 after the GCRECopened in 2005. The event began as a way for the center to showcase its fruit and vegetable research.
“More than a decade ago, growers Tony DiMare and Jay Taylor attended a fruit and vegetable tour and expo in Mexico, and realized we needed a similar type of event in Florida. This is how the Florida Ag Expo came about,” explains Rechcigl.
According to Rechcigl, the event is a partnership between UF/IFAS and several industry groups, including the Florida Tomato Committee, Florida Strawberry Growers Association, Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA) and the Florida Fertilizer & Agrichemical Association.
Today, Florida Ag Expo includes researcher presentations, a grower panel discussion, field tours, hands-on workshops, a graduate student poster contest and a trade show. “It’s a fun show with lots of networking and learning opportunities,” Rechcigl says.
“We look forward to the 2019 show with AgNet Media,”says Mike Joyner, FFVA president. “Florida’s producers benefit from this opportunity to hear the latest on the issues and to network with their peers and the sponsors.”
Changes Rechcigl expects to see in the 2019 Florida Ag Expo include expanding the focus from traditional ag to include more alternative crops, as well as making the event of greater relevance to small growers. In addition, AgNet Media will add a fundraiser to the agenda. One hundred percent of the fundraiser proceeds will go toward GCREC scholarships.
“AgNet Media and UF/IFAS have a long-standing tradition of successfully working together — from the Citrus Expo seminar program, to articles in Vegetable and Specialty Crop News and Citrus Industry magazines, to the new ‘All In For Citrus’ podcast series,” says Gary Cooper, AgNet Media founder and president. “We look forward to expanding this positive business relationship and appreciate the opportunity to serve in the event management role for the Florida Ag Expo.”
Stay tuned for the announcement of the 2019 Florida Ag Expo date.