AFVGA Conference to Address Challenges Farmers are Facing

Clint Thompson Alabama, Fruit, Labor, Top Posts, Vegetables

A farmworker cuts romaine for harvest. Labor is an issue facing all growers.

By Clint Thompson

Challenges are nothing new for Alabama’s vegetable and specialty crop producers. Whether it is labor issues, crop production or unfair trade, no grower is immune from the daily rigors of maintaining a successful farming operation.

Next month’s Alabama Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (AFVGA) Conference and Trade Show will address issues pertinent to the state’s producers, says Hunter McBrayer, executive director of the AFVGA.

“It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, whether you’re in agriculture, hospitality or whatever else, labor continues to be something we struggle with. We have a couple of (presenters) who are going to be talking about labor at the conference. Dan Bremer from AgWorks, who so many people are familiar with, is going to be there. We have one of the American Farm Bureau Federation staff folks that work on labor in D.C., Allison Crittenden, is going to be there. Then we’ve got a couple of our growers on the panel together, talking about what they’ve done to overcome some of the challenges that were highlighted during 2021 and in years past,” McBrayer said.

“It’s been a rough year to grow fruits and vegetables in the Southeast. It’s been very wet. We’ve had some light hurricane damage and tropical storms that we’ve really struggled in the side of just excess moisture. We’ve got some good pathologists and good production specialists that are going to be talking about how to overcome some of those issues and how we can better utilize the resources that we have to grow a better product with reduced inputs.”

The two-day conference will be held on Nov. 18-19 in Gulf Shores, Ala.