The Florida Postharvest Horticulture Tour brings participants “up-close and personal” to learn how fresh subtropical, tropical and temperate fruits, vegetables and ornamental crops are handled. With exclusive, behind-the-scene visits hosted by top management, the group will become familiar with a variety of methods and technologies employed to harvest, pack, cool, ship and receive fresh crops. Visits will include large and small-scale operations to contrast various technologies, a fresh-cut processor, and a major supermarket distribution center. This program is coordinated by Dr. Steven Sargent and Dr. Mark Ritenour, specialists in the area of postharvest technology at the University of Florida-IFAS. It is designed for produce industry professionals, educators, researchers and graduate students in such diverse areas as field and packinghouse management, transportation, sales, and import/export.
Faculty Coordinators Steven Sargent received a Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering Technology from Michigan State University in 1984 and joined the University of Florida in 1987. His Extension and Research Program addresses the effects of harvest, handling, cooling, packaging, and transit operations on postharvest quality and safety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Mark Ritenour received a Ph.D. in Postharvest Physiology from University of California, Davis in 1995 and joined the University of Florida in 1998. His Extension and Research Program works to improve pre- and postharvest practices for better quality and quality retention during transport and marketing of fresh fruits and vegetables. Steve and Mark also teach the graduate course Postharvest Technologies for Horticultural Crops, which is designed around the Postharvest Tour.
Registration Details: Registration Deadline- February 4, 2020 The registration fee includes transportation during the tour via commercial bus with Wi-Fi access. Hotel and meal costs are the responsibility of each participant. For the nights during the Tour, we reserve a block of hotel rooms for the group in advance and each participant pays upon check out. A limited number of educational discounts are available for university and government employees. For more details contact Adrian Berry at [email protected].
Cancellation Policy: Registrations cancelled by February 18th will receive a full refund and after this date a partial refund ($300) will be issued. No refunds will be issued after February 28, 2019.
Local Hotels: The Tour will begin and end in Gainesville. The following hotels are close to campus and provide an airport shuttle option. • Hilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville • SpringHill Suites Gainesville
Corporate Sponsorship: The Florida Postharvest Tour provides our graduate students with practical experience as to how our Florida-grown fruits and vegetables are harvested, handled and shipped. As a corporate sponsor, your name and company will be acknowledged during the tour and listed in the agenda. If your company would like to disperse information/materials to the group please let us know. There are typically 10-15 students participating each year. If you would be interested in joining our program as a donor, please contact Adrian Berry at [email protected]. Student Sponsorship Opportunities: $500 – Covers 4 nights of hotel costs for two graduate students $1,000 – Covers all expenses for two graduate students $2,000 – Includes 1 free registration for your company Thank you very much for considering our request; your assistance will help keep the costs of this program more affordable to our students.