By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Oklahoma State University, along with the University of Arkansas, will sponsor the 35th Annual Oklahoma and Arkansas Horticulture Industries Show. Gardening professionals, amateurs and wannabe enthusiasts will learn from this informative two-day event, Friday and Saturday, January 8 and 9.
The show themed “Building Soils for a Secure Future” will take place at Tulsa Community College, NE Campus, 3727 E. Apache, in Tulsa. The public is invited to attend.
“There are numerous horticultural related groups presenting up-to-date cutting edge information on all aspects of horticulture,” said Dr. Lynn Brandenberger, Oklahoma State Professor and Extension Educator. “Registrants receive significant benefits through educational sessions and networking at a great value.”
For over three decades, the HIS has provided growers and the public with the latest information on vegetables, fruit, Christmas trees, farmers market crops and public gardening issues.
“HIS conference is a great place for growers to network with other growers along with learning the latest in scientific discoveries,” said Charles Rohla, Center for Pecan and Specialty Agriculture Manager. “With this year keynote speaker Jeff Moyer, attendees will learn about a great Foundation that has been promoting and researching organic food production for nearly 70 years.
“Along with Jeff’s responsibility at Rodale he will also share his involvement with and the importance of Soil Health for the future generations,” said Rohla. “Attendees will also be able to visit with vendors that supply necessary tools and knowledge for food production.”
Moyer is a world-renowned authority in organic agriculture and interim executive director at Rodale Institute in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. His expertise includes organic crop production systems focusing on weed management, equipment modification and use, cover crops, crop rotations and facilities design.
“What’s really been exciting about some of the new findings from the work that we’re doing at the Rodale Institute is the impact that organic farming can have on carbon sequestration, energy use and green house gas emission,” Moyer said. “Those things just add to the environmental benefits that organic farming can bring to the world.”
“When I have the opportunity to talk to conventional farmers, I tell them that this is the perfect time to transition part or all of their farm from conventional to organic. Farmers are hearing a message from all parts of agriculture that soil health is important,” Moyer continued. “So now is the time to do it.”
Moyer also is well-known for conceptualizing the No Till Roller Crimper for use in organic agriculture.
During the conference, attendees will have the opportunity to take part in concurrent educational sessions covering topics such as vegetable varieties; farm safety; time management on the farm; health benefits of fruit consumption; using row covers for insect pest and pollinator management in cucurbits; Oklahoma Proven 2016 plant selections; fruit tree nutrition; emerging trends in hoop house design, Christmas tree farm business strategy; potting mixes and much more.
Each session will be taught by industry professionals and OSU specialists.
Registration online or on-site is $85 per person for both days or $60 for one day. Additional adults from the same farm/business may register for $45 each. Students with college ID may register for free.
The conference program and registration form is available online. Mail the form, along with registration payment, to HIS Registration, P.O. Box 1993, Stillwater, OK 74076-1993.
Sponsors include the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service; Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service; Arkansas State Horticultural Society; OSU’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture; Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture; Tulsa Community College; Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation; and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
“HIS is a one- stop-shop for folks involved in a horticulture related industry,” Rohla said. “If you are a seasoned grower or investigating starting a horticulture related business, HIS is for you.”
For more information, contact Donna Dollins, HIS secretary/treasurer, at 405-744-6460, or at [email protected].