The Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association (WSCGA) Board agreed Tuesday, January 5 to move their annual Winter Meeting from an in-person format to a virtual one. The event is held in conjunction with the annual Cranberry School put on by the Wisconsin Cranberry Research and Education Foundation (WCREF). The 2022 Cranberry School will also be moved to a virtual format.
The decision was made by the WSCGA Board due to concern over the health and safety of the cranberry community, speakers, and Cranberry School attendees in light of the COVID-19 global pandemic’s current trajectory.
WSCGA President Steven Bartling said, “This decision wasn’t easy as we were all looking forward to a gathering of our community. The reasons for this decision were simple. We have an increase in health concerns from COVID spread increasing within our communities currently and broad hesitation from our growers, venders, and presenters to join a big gathering.”
The events were originally planned to take place January 19 and 20 at the Wilderness Resort in Lake Delton and will now take place on the same dates virtually.
The following adjustments were made to the event to fit the new virtual format:
- Registration fees for the School will be reduced to $50 per person for members, $75 for nonmembers. Registration remains open at https://wcref.regfox.com/wisconsin-cranberry-school
- Minor adjustments to the agenda to provide participants with a little more break time during the school.
- The Winter Trade Show was cancelled
- The Pesticide Applicator Training session at the Wilderness Resort is cancelled, growers in need of certification are encouraged to seek a session in their growing region
WSCGA Executive Director Tom Lochner added, “We are disappointed to cancel the in-person portion of these events, however the decision was made out of an abundance of caution. We remain committed to providing a valuable experience to Wisconsin’s grower community and are optimistic the new virtual format will expand access to growers who are geographically isolated or who were hesitant about attending the event in-person.”