July 9, 2004 – The Caribbean Food Crops Society will mark its 40th anniversary at its annual conference being held July 19-23 at the Westin St. John Resort.
The society's annual gathering "gives the researchers and scientists an opportunity to present their research," Clarice Clark, spokeswoman for the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service, said.
There will be 64 presentations on everything from growing Scotch Bonnet peppers to biotechnology. A forum from 8 to 11 a.m. on July 23 will give local farmers' organizations a chance to ask questions of the scientists and to make presentations about their own work.
The conference includes two field trips. One will take in Coral Bay Gardens, a commercial farm owned by the Roller family on St. John, and the Hartman and Henneman farm on St. Thomas. The other will be a tour of agriculture facilities in the British Virgin Islands.
Clark said about 150 people from 22 countries are expected to attend the conference.
The Caribbean Food Crops Society held its first meeting in 1963, on St. Croix. It now has about 350 members in 35 locales including the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland. Most are scholars, researchers, extension agents, growers and other professionals working with food production, distribution and policy.
This year, Kwame Garcia, UVI Cooperative Extension Service director, is the organization's president.
The conference registration fee is $125, reduced to $100 for farmers and students with identification. The field trips including transportation are $40 for the St. John-St. Thomas excursion and $60 for the B.V.I. tour.
For more information, visit the conference Web site, or call Garcia at 692-4091 or Clark at 692-4060.
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