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IL Specialty Growers Organic and Agritourism Conference - Jan 9 - 11, 2019

January 9-11, 2019

Crowne Plaza Hotel and Convention Center
3000 S Dirksen Parkway
Springfield, IL 62703 (Sangamon County)

The Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism, and Organic Conference (ISCAOC) will be held January 9- 11, 2019, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield.

The conference, which features nearly 100 speakers and 60 trade show exhibitors, will again host four concurrent preconference workshops, general sessions, and breakout sessions aimed at helping Illinois specialty growers cultivate their operations.

Wednesday, January 9, participants may attend one of the pre-conference workshops, including: Specialty Farming and Financing, Cut Flowers, Beginning Berries and Beyond, and Sweet Corn.

A special opportunity for farmers is scheduled for Wednesday, January 9, begins at 8:00 a.m. as The University of Illinois Extension will conduct a full Food Safety Training Workshop. This workshop will satisfy the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule This year only, you will receive the manual and certificate for only $45. This is a $75 saving. Deadline for registration for this event is December 20, 2018.

Thursday, January 10, the convention's keynote speaker, Dr. Kimberlee Kidwell, Dean of ACES, University of Illinois will provide insight into the future of University of Illinois and Extension.

Participants also are invited to attend breakout sessions on Thursday, January 11 and Friday, January 12 featuring:

  •  Agritourism and Marketing
  • Fruits
  •  Vegetables
  •  Herbs
  •  Organic Foods

Following Thursday's breakout sessions, the annual banquet will include a keynote speech titled, Tanner's Expansion: A Bold Leap by Craig Tanner, Tanner Orchard, Speer, Illinois. They are the fourth generation of fruit growers. It has been 70 years now for Tanners Orchard at this location. The Tanners have grown together through the years, spanning the generations, across the country and an ocean.

The 30th annual Apple Cider Contest and 17th annual Hard Cider Contest will again be held in conjunction with the conference, with winners being announced during Thursday evening's banquet.

To receive registration materials or to obtain exhibitor information, please contact Charlene Blary at 309-557-2107 or Conference registration will be offered online. A detailed conference agenda, registration, and cider contest information can be viewed at

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