March 3: Workshop
1:00 – 5:00 pm. Fundamentals of Caneberry Production Workshop. A short course for novice growers, potential growers, and anyone who needs a refresher on the basics of raspberry and blackberry production. Topics will include variety selection, economics of production, basic crop management and basic pest management. The focus of the workshop will be somewhat regional (lower Midwest), however those from other regions should also find it of value. Participants will receive a USB-drive of resources. Led by Amanda McWhirt, University of Arkansas, and Patrick Byers, University of Missouri. Limited registration.
March 3: Opening Reception
7:00 pm at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel. Registrants are welcome to bring non-registered family members to the reception. The reception will include a talk on “The History of St. Louis Agriculture”. Speaker Valerie Mertz is manager of the The Fulton School farm program and secretary of St. Louis County Farm Bureau. She first created her presentation to celebrate the 100th anniversary of St. Louis County.
March 4: TOUR
8:30 am – 5:30 pm. This full-day tour by chartered bus visits four stops:
- North Bay Produce, a major distributor of caneberries and other berries. We tour their large, modern distribution facility.
- Eckert Family Farms in Belleville, Illinois, a seventh-generation farm raising tree fruit, blackberries, strawberries and more, with an awesome country store.
- Danforth Plant Science Center, an independent research institute founded in 1998. Its major research areas are basic plant science discovery and technology development; food security, crop improvement, and sustainability; and next-generation/sustainable bioenergy.
- Anheuser Busch Brewery, a true St. Louis institution! A tour of the brewery from grain to glass, plus Clydesdale horses. What better way to end the day?
Tour registration is limited and on a first-come basis. If we have more registrants than the Danforth Center can accommodate, a stop at the world-renowned Missouri Botanical Garden will be offered as a choice for registrants.
MARCH 5 & 6: Educational sessions, trade show, and poster display
The NARBA annual meeting will be held during lunch on March 5 and is open to all.
Poster submissions are welcome – including informal posters prepared by growers.