2020 has certainly been an odd year for us all. Fruit growing remains a challenging industry, and area fruit growers often look to the Winchester area tree fruit Extension programs to provide real life solutions. Tree fruit research and Extension has been occurring in Winchester for more than 100 years, and industry support has been vital for the continuance of Extension events. I am asking for your valued support of the 2021 meetings and activities.
The first event on our agenda is the Virginia Fruit School program. Due to COVID, this will have to be a virtual program. More details regarding this initial event will follow at a later date. Assuming we can have some in-person programming in 2021, we will recognize all sponsors at each event in the distribution correspondence as well as on the welcoming kiosk slide and in the event serving lines. The hope for 2021, is to have five early season meetings (three evening in-depth meetings and two update breakfast meetings) and two in-orchard summer twilight meetings. All early season meetings will be held at the Virginia Tech – Alson H. Smith Jr., Agricultural Research and Extension Center (AREC) in Winchester, VA should COVID guidelines allow.
I encourage all of our sponsors to attend these meetings and events to network with the growers. Your sponsorship will help cover the costs (speaker fees, travel, room fees, handouts, set-up expenses, snacks or meals, incidentals, etc.) involved in these meetings. Growers have recognized these educational opportunities as vital components to the success of their operation, and I truly appreciate your generosity and faithful support of our work.
Please let me know if you can offer support of the 2021 program. For a benchmark, industry sponsorships in the past have ranged from approximately $100 to $500 per sponsoring organization.
Thank you for your consideration to this request. We appreciate your participation with our meetings. I look forward to working with you in the 2021 growing season.