The annual Deep South Fruit and Vegetable Conference and Trade Show will be Dec. 6-7 in Mobile, Ala. About 500 people are expected to attend this multi-state meeting, including growers from Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and Mississippi.

The conference is hosted by the states' vegetable grower associations, including the Louisiana Vegetable Growers Association.

“Each state used to have its own conference, and about four years ago a multistate meeting was organized,” said Carl Motsenbocker, LSU AgCenter horticulture professor. “The conference grows each year.”

Motsenbocker is part of the panel discussion of “Mentors in Support of Farmers,” which will be featured in the conference's all-day session, “The Future of Farming — New Growers and Small Acreage Farmers.”

Other all-day sessions at the conference include topics on agrotourism, blueberry production, organic production and fruit and vegetable production. Agrotourism is the use of farms as attractions for school groups and others, such as the popular corn mazes. It is a growing trend in the area, Motsenbocker said.

Half-day sessions include labor issues, citrus production, cut flower production and high tunnel production.

A commercial trade show is also part of the conference and features farm supply vendors. The meeting will end with a “Taste of the South” reception.

The conference features speakers from universities, as well as farmers from each state. Jimmy Boudreaux, Alan Vaughn, Jeff Kuehny and Donald Ferrin — also from the LSU AgCenter will present sessions at the conference.

The pre-registration form and program can be found on the Deep South Fruit and Vegetable Conference's Web site, www.deepsouthfruitveg.com.

For additional information, contact Motsenbocker at (225) 578-22158 or cmotsenbocker@agcenter.lsu.edu.