MISSISSIPPI STATE, Miss. — Mississippi will soon host an intensive, one-of-a-kind greenhouse tomato workshop with national and international appeal. The short course, March 9-10 in Jackson, will be the state’s 14th annual gathering exclusively dedicated to helping producers of greenhouse tomatoes.

Mississippi is home to 135 growers who combine to produce a $6.5 million greenhouse tomato crop annually. In 2003, the short course attracted participants from 24 states and four countries.

Rick Snyder, research and Extension horticulturist in Crystal Springs, Miss., is organizing the short course. His goal is to provide significant amounts of information in a short period of time.

The 2004 Greenhouse Tomato Short Course will be held in the Sparkman Auditorium at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum on Lakeland Drive. It is sponsored by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Central Research and Extension Center in Raymond, Miss.

The first day will provide an overview of greenhouse tomato production, new grower information, branding tomatoes, large scale production issues and marketing information. The second day’s session will cover flavor concerns, disease and insect prevention, organic methods, chemical considerations and a research update.

Advance registration is $85 and must be received by March 1. This fee includes meals, coffee breaks, refreshments, Extension bulletins and handouts.

Registration the day of the short course is $100.

Sessions will begin at 8:30 a.m. both days. Tuesday’s discussions conclude around 5 p.m. followed by supper at the ag museum. The final day concludes with a 5 p.m. discussion panel and supper.

For more information, contact a Mississippi county Extension office or visit http://www.msstate.edu/dept/cmrec/ghsc.htm. The complete agenda and registration materials are available online.