By Ashley Robinson
Strawberry growers and industry leaders gathered for the fifth annual Florida Strawberry Growers Association (FSGA) Tailgate and Field Day event on Wednesday.
The event, held in conjunction with the University of Florida Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) in Balm, Florida started with a morning tailgate party. Tailgaters munched on fried gator tail, Italian sausage, beef brisket, chicken, delicious desserts and more.
“It was an awesome day, we’re glad to see faces and everyone’s been so excited to get out and visit,” said Tiffany Dale, director of member services and community relations. “This is one of our most popular events every year.
“We usually hold this event in January, but just because of everything going, on we were excited to be able to pull it off in April.”
The tailgate portion of the event originated five years ago when a grower member of FSGA suggested a cookout type of event to mingle with other growers and network with industry suppliers before starting off the research presentations.
“The tailgate event has been hugely successful. We’re thankful for our gold and silver allied partners that have allowed us to keep this event going,” said Dale.
Attendees gathered in the FSGA Event Center later in the afternoon for a series of pre-recorded research presentations by scientists at the GCREC. Presentations included information on thrips management, nematode research, new strawberry varieties, new breeding techniques, fumigation strategies and more.
As productive as the event was, the entire day was mainly a great opportunity for fellowship.
“We truly love this event because it’s very low-key. You can always count on good food, good company and lots of fun here,” Dale said.