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NAFEX Annual Meeting 2015
July 22 thru 24, 2015
Days Inn, LaCrosse, Wisconsin

Update: Hotel Reservations deadline extended until July 8th. The block of rooms reserved for the meeting are still available and will be until July 8th.

Bob Purvis and Pete Scott have been working hard to line up interesting and informative speakers. Here are a few; Liza Greenman, Fruit Exploring for Millennials; Nick Howard, Fruit Breeding for the Backyard Grower; Jim Riddle, owner and operator of Blue Fruit Farm speaking on culture and marketing of blueberries, elderberries, blackcurrant and aronia; Dan Busey, Saving Heirloom Seeds; Dell Christianson, Foliar Nutrition for Fruit Trees; Jacquelyn Kuehn, The Future of NAFEX; Harry Hoch, owner Hoch Orchards, Operating a Farm Fruit Market; Ron Dickie, Cultivating and Marketing Strawberries; Paul Bingham, Accessing the ARS (USDA) Germplasm Repository and Obtaining Materials and Designing Edible Landscapes; Brian Nelson, Spotted Wing Drosophila; Oriana Kruszewski, Asian Pears for the Upper Midwest; Bob Purvis, Growing Apricots in the Cold North.

Contact Bob Purvis or Pete Scott to make arrangements for your presentation. Better hurry as the roster is nearly full and there may be some openings due to cancellations. If we have extra presentations we may continue at 7:00 PM. The auction is also planned for Thursday evening. The Friday bus tour presently has 5 stops scheduled. This will be a full, interesting day. We began the day with a visit to Ronís Barry Farm in Minnesota operated by Ron and Peggy Dickie where they cultivate strawberries and asparagus. Another stop is the Blue Fruit Farm where they have 4 acres of aronia, blackcurrant, blueberry and elderberries. Owner Jim Riddle will also address us during the technical sessions. Lunch is planned for the Hoch Apple Orchard catered by the Harry Hoch family who operate the orchard, farm market and kitchen. Below is the aerial view.

After lunch we travel to Eckerís Apple Orchard where they grow Cortland and Honeycrisp and sell caramel apples and apple pie in their farm market. We plan to also visit Blue House Blueberries, primarily a you pick operation. Owner Steve Nice will give us a tour of their orchard where they cultivate and market blueberries, blue ice plums, honeyberry (haskap) and aronia.

We will return at 5 PM for a short rest before the start of the banquet and wine tasting. Have a fruit wine that you are proud of? Bring a few bottles to impress fellow members. Do you have favorite a wine made by a local winery, ask them to donate a few bottles for the publicity. There will also be a cash bar prior to the banquet. Our scheduled speaker is Steven Murray who has traveled extensively in China, a very knowledgeable young man well-versed on foreign fruits. At last yearís annual meeting Steven made a short presentation of fruits that he observed and photographed. He has promised to give more details about many of the interesting fruits. Following the banquet will be the annual business meeting and election of officers.

A car caravan trip to Seed Savers Exchange near Decorah, Iowa is being planned for Saturday, July 25.

The conference center has bent the rules for us not only in allowing wine tasting before the banquet they are also going to allow us to serve homemade cookies that include fruit and nuts at Thursday's coffee breaks. We will also have a limited a number of pastries at the breaks from the Innís catering service.

Present agenda:

  • The Board meeting will be held Wednesday evening, July 22, followed by an informal social for early arrivals who are not too tired from the travels. Registration will begin Thursday morning. Papers and talks will be presented on Thursday, followed by an auction that evening and show and tell, with PowerPoint projector available. The field tour on Friday includes bottled water and lunch, followed that evening by the banquet and business meeting.
  • Plan to bring something for the auction as this is a great way to have fun while raising needed funds our treasury.
  • Wine tasting of member-supplied wines and cash bar before the banquet.
  • Home-made cookies containing fruits and nuts can be served at the coffee breaks.
  • The Local Arrangements Committee is working hard to make this an educational as well as entertaining event. We plan to have activities on Thursday for accompanying family members not interested in the fruit and nut events.
  • Registration form is available at the bottom of this page.

We have 20 and 30 minute time slots for speakers. PowerPoint projection will be available. Member growers are often shy about making presentations. Don't be! In a survey a few years ago many members said they desire home grower reports as well as the research reports given by University and USDA professionals. Contact Bob Purvis, program chair, at or Peter Scott at or Jerry Lehman at to make arrangements. Outside speakers who are not attending the conference are invited to participate in the noon lunch.

Hotel Information

Ask for the front desk when calling the hotel

There is no additional charge for children, but you need to let them know ahead of time so they can put an extra bed in the room.
There is a restaurant in the motel that seats 75 people, a bar, business center, free airport shuttle, exercise room, Jacuzzi and pool.

Northern Nut Growers Association Annual Meeting

The Northern Nut Growers Association's annual meeting is being held in LaCrosse Wisconsin the following week. You can plan to attend both. For more information visit the NNGA website:

Download the registration form.

Special needs

Anyone with special needs or desiring adjustments please call Jerry Lehman at 812-298-8733 to make special arrangements.

More Information

For more information contact Jerry Lehman at 812-298-8733


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