Ten Australian vegetable growers will be given the opportunity of a lifetime when they visit agricultural facilities in the United States of America and attend the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit in California this October.

‘The tour will take ten growers who have shown dedication and commitment to innovation within the Australian vegetable industry and give them the chance to visit operations throughout Santa Maria, Salinas and Visalia in California,’ said AUSVEG CEO Richard Mulcahy.

Supported by Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL), the tour will coincide with the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) 2009 Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition, one of the largest international events of its kind.

‘The four-day Fresh Summit brings together more than 18,000 participants from every component of the global supply chain. It’s an opportunity for the growers to network and learn from some of the biggest and most innovative players in the game,’ said Mr Mulcahy.

Guest speakers include former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and David Plouffe, campaign manager for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

‘The tour will be an amazing opportunity for growers to develop their skills and knowledge for application in their Australian operations,’ said Mr Mulcahy.

‘The tour is intended to expose growers to issues surrounding production, marketing, processing and new research in one of the most profitable agriculture regions in the world,’ he said.

Participants’ tour costs will be significantly subsidised by the National Vegetable Levy.

Growers will be asked to contribute $3,000 towards the cost of the tour.

All air and land travel, accommodation and most meals will be included.

‘I would encourage anyone working within a vegetable growing business to apply for this fantastic opportunity,’ said Mr Mulcahy.

The tour is open to all vegetable levy payers and will expose growers to production, marketing and whole of supply chain systems in renowned growing regions of the USA.

Applications for the 2009 Vegetable Growers’ Study Tour to the USA are now being accepted.

For more information about the tour including details of the itinerary, please contact AUSVEG Communications Manager, Hugh Tobin.

MEDIA CONTACT: Hugh Tobin, AUSVEG, 03 9544 8098 or hugh.tobin@ausveg.com.au.