The final seminar, "Working with Gen. Y Employees," is a must for anyone over age 30. While everyone agrees the produce industry desperately needs to find and groom young people for the future, figuring out how to communicate with, motivate and harness the technological savvy of these potential employees requires new skills.
John Killeen, vice president of sales and marketing for Muranka Farm Inc., Moorpark, Calif., will lead the Gen. Y seminar, drawing on his more than 20 years of experience working for California's largest grower-shippers.
When the work day is done, join convention organizers for an authentic East Coast kitchen party on Thursday and a rousing send-off with the band Irish Descendants at Friday's banquet.
The kitchen party tradition began in old Maritime farmhouses, Pattillo said, where everyone would gather in the kitchen. Someone invariably showed up with a fiddle and a harmonica, she said, and there was always plenty of food and beer.
"Bring your dancing shoes and your singing voices," Pattillo said.