The 26th Annual Oklahoma and Arkansas Horticulture Industries Show is set for Jan. 5 and 6 in Ft. Smith, Ark. Sponsored by the Arkansas and Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Services, the Arkansas State Horticulture Society and the Oklahoma-based Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, this year’s show theme is “Horticulture for Food and Fun.” The event will include keynote presentations, concurrent educational sessions conducted by six different commodity groups and a trade show featuring horticultural equipment, supplies and services.
Steve Upson, a horticulturist at the Noble Foundation in Ardmore, Okla., who has served on the show’s advisory board for several years, says the show focuses on fruit, vegetable and herb producers, Christmas tree growers, sustainable agriculture and farmer’s market producers and public gardens employees.
“The program has topics for existing producers, as well as people who are very new to horticulture or are considering getting in to it,” says Upson, who managed a commercial vegetable farm before going to the Noble Foundation. “It is well worth the time to attend because of the formal and informal learning opportunities. One of the most important things about the show is the chance to network with others in the industry.”
Keynote speakers are Ed Mahoney and Carla Barbieri, both of Michigan State University. Mahoney is an associate professor and extension specialist in the newly established Department of Community, Agriculture Recreation and Resource Studies He provides research and technical assistance to small agriculture, natural resource and tourism businesses especially new agriculture and agriculture tourism entrepreneurs in the United States and Canada. Barbieri is a research associate in the same department who focuses on farm enterprise diversification and commercial recreation.
Two-day registration for the show is $60, and Saturday-only registration is $40. For more information or to register, contact Oklahoma State University’s Donna Dollins at [email protected] or (405) 744-6460.