Hurricane Dorian: Florida Tomato Council reschedules conference

Hurricane Dorian: Florida Tomato Council reschedules conference

An abridged version of Florida’s 44th Tomato Conference, canceled due to Hurricane Dorian’s approach in the Atlantic, has been rescheduled for Oct. 2-3 in a new location.

Originally scheduled for Sept. 3-5 in Naples, the conference was canceled the afternoon of August 30, around the time the hurricane reached category 5 status — the most dangerous and severe category, with winds 157 miles per hour or higher. Dorian was charging toward the Bahamas, and the Miami-based National Hurricane Center’s “cone of uncertainty” encompassed most of the Florida peninsula at the time. 

The hurricane, since reduced to category 3, has barely skimmed the East Coast of Florida as it heads north and threatens the coastal Carolinas.

The abridged conference will be at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Gulf Coast Research & Education Center, Wimauma, according to an e-mail to registrants from conference organizer Diana Hester of the Florida Tomato Council.  

“There will be no receptions, only educational sessions,” Hester said in the e-mail. “You’re welcome to attend at no cost.” 

The revised conference schedule is:

Oct. 2

12:30-1 p.m.: Registration for food safety workshop/Tomato Good Agricultural Practices (T-GAP)

1-1:30 p.m.: Pre-test for food safety workshop/T-GAP

1:30-5 p.m.: Food safety workshop/T-GAP

Oct. 3

8:30-9 a.m.: Registration for Tomato Institute

9-11:30 a.m.: Tomato Institute, morning session

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: Researcher award luncheon

1-4 p.m.: Tomato Institute, afternoon session

Registrants will receive more details about registration and hotels. The original hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Beach Resort in Naples, offered free cancelations to conference registrants.

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