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One Week Until the Washington State Small Fruit Conference 2018

Volume 7 Issue 11

Keynote Speakers Fresh Market Strawberries Friday Special Sessions Commission Meetings


The Washington State Small Conference is a week away on Wednesday November 28th through Friday November 30th. This year we have tons of opportunities to learn about production, marketing, and cover several specific topics in depth through our Friday Special Sessions.

We tried to break it down so you can properly prepare to catch all that you want. Pesticide credits have been applied for WA, OR, BC.

Also note we will be utilizing a new conference management system that will allow you to access the agenda and build your own itinerary. You will also be able to provide live feedback on speakers.

As always we will be live streaming the event in its entity to Prosser WA and Vancouver WA.

Keynote Speakers

These presentations will look at the bigger picture of the small fruit industry and beyond.

Wednesday November 28th

Dr. André-Denis Wright, CAHNRS Dean, WSU

Victoria De Bruin, US Highbush Blueberry Council

Thursday November 29th

Bill Bryant, Bryant Christie Inc.


NEW! Fresh Market Strawberry Sessions

Thursday November 29th – Fall Creek Nursery Room

This daylong workshop will cover all aspects of fresh market strawberry production and marketing including:

  • Introduction and Panel Discussion on Present State of the Washington Fresh Strawberry Market
  • Mid-late Season Pest Management for Day Neutral strawberries
  • Question and Answer Panels: Stories from Fresh Strawberry Growers/ Interest from Potential Buyers
  • Fresh Strawberry Research Update
  • Weed Management Update and Strawberry Herbicide Discussion
  • Fresh Market Equipment and Supplies Discussion and Audience Response Survey

Friday Special Sessions

Friday November 30th

Pollination: A Key Element to Effective Berry Production – Fall Creek Nursery Room

This session will cover a wide range of topics related to pollination including:

  • Back to basics: Why pollination can be poor and what (if anything) can you do about it
  • Improving pollinator habitat to increase seed/fruit set
  • Going hard on pests and soft on pollinators
  • Promising strategies that can improve blueberry pollination

An Update on the Produce Safety Rule in Washington – CHS Room

The FDA Produce Safety Rule mandated under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the first federal food safety law that sets specific standards for the growing, harvesting, packing, and storage of fresh produce. What exactly does it mean for Washington growers? This presentation will help growers understand what types of farms and produce are subject to the Rule, and what compliance requirements are expected. Staff from the WSDA Produce Safety and Regional Markets Programs will provide farmers resources, including guidance materials and information on how to request a free, on-farm educational food safety assessment, in order to better understand the Produce Safety Rule standards and how to prepare for inspections, which are projected to begin in Spring 2019. 

Pre-Selection, Selection; Use, Maintenance, & Cleaning . . . The Mysterious Respirator Protection Plan! – CHS Room

Respirators: humid & hot, harder to breathe through than not wearing one, and just basically uncomfortable to wear. If we protect ourselves this way, let’s do it right and make sure it actually protects the user!

  • Why are you choosing or wearing that respirator – ensure it protects against the hazards.
  • How to select the correct respiratory protection
  • What if I’m using pesticides?
  • Does wearing a respirator introduce potential problems for the user?
  • Evaluate limitations of respiratory protection (& the person wearing it)
  • How do we make sure using a respirator stays safe and it continues to protect?
  • How do I know when and what to do for my respirator; or what care and feeding does it need to keep being useful?
  • What does L&I expect from employers (and employees) who use respirators?
  • Do I need a written program, really?
  • What do I need in my program?
  • Training?
  • Fit-tests – What do they get me? Why and how do I do them? When is fit-testing required?
  • Medical “evaluation” to wear a respirator – What does this mean?
  • Respirator Program – Administrator (tasks, requirements, certification?)
  • Do any of these respirator requirements apply to pesticide use?
  • Which ones?
  • What else is required with pesticide use?

Employers, Foremen, respirator wearers, pesticide handlers and applicators are welcome and encouraged to participate! PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN RESPIRATOR FOR FIT TEST QUESTIONS


Commission Meetings


Washington Red Raspberry Commission Meeting

Wednesday November 28th – CHS Room

Washington Blueberry Commission Meeting

Thursday November 29th – CHS Room