The inaugural Missouri Tomato Conference will be held Aug. 14-15 to teach growers and serious hobbyists more about Missouri’s top-selling vegetable.

The Webb City Farmers Market, in conjunction with the University of Missouri Extension and Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, will host the event. The conference will take place at the Continental Banquet Center, 2728 N. Range Line Road.

Aug. 14 presentations will cover an introduction to tomatoes; integrated pest management programs and major challenges; diagnosing and addressing tomato disease issues; tomato fertility management and quality issues; and tomato grafting.

Two program tracks will be offered on Aug. 14. In track one, guests will learn about field tomatoes, including sessions on field tomatoes from a farmer’s perspective, and tomato insect management in the field. Track two will focus on greenhouse and high tunnel tomatoes, including the basics of tomato management in structures, and high tunnel tomatoes from a farmer’s perspective.

Aug. 15 events will consist of farm tours and on-site education at three area farms from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The following speakers will be featured during the workshop:

• Rick Snyder, extension/research professor at the Truck Crops Experiment Station in Crystal Springs, Mississippi.

• Richard Weinzierl, professor emeritus in the department of crop sciences at the University of Illinois.

• Sherrie Smith, plant diagnostician at the Arkansas Plant Health Clinic in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

• David Loewen, a master’s student in the Kansas State horticulture and urban food systems program.

• Tami Fredrickson, of Fredrickson Farms in Carl Junction.

• Karen Scott, of Oakwoods Farm near Granby.

A registration fee of $30 includes lunch on Aug. 14, all presentations and handouts, farm tours on Aug. 15, and a copy of the Greenhouse Tomato Handbook by Snyder.

The Missouri Tomato Conference is underwritten by a specialty crops grant from the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Complete conference information is available here.