March 31-April 1, I was privileged to travel with and discuss organic with some Tarleton State University agriculture students. It was a weekend of organic agriculture with a particular emphasis on organic fruits and vegetables. I was asked to help out with the tour because I do know a lot of people in both the conventional and organic world of fruits and vegetables and to help talk about Texas organic production in that world. The Viva Fresh Expo was held in Grapevine this year which is very close to Tarleton State University and Stephenville and so an easy trip to make and lots of fun. The Viva Fresh Produce Expo was created in response to the vegetable/fruit industry’s need for better opportunities to create meaningful networking opportunities that highlight products and build relationships. The Texas International Produce Association and Viva Fresh conduct a special program where they invite college ag students to attend Viva Fresh to learn and meet folks in the produce industry. To say the least, the students from Tarleton were wowed at the Viva Fresh Expo when they saw nearly 3,000 folks on the exhibit floor and talked to hundreds of prospective employers!
On the way to Viva Fresh we were treated to a behind the scenes tour of the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT). It was one of the best tours I have ever been on and the staff at the Botanical Gardens and BRIT are super to work with. If you have never, been it is definitely worth the time.