More than 25 sessions are planned. The keynote speaker will be Missouri peony grower Don Hollingsworth of Hollingsworth Peonies and the other featured speaker is Gay Smith from Chrysal USA, which develops and manufactures cut flower products.
Several faculty and staff from the School of Natural Resources and Extension will make presentations. Soils Professor Mingchu Zhang will talk about nutrition management and Research Technician Bob Van Veldhuizen will address nutrient cycling. Kenai Extension Agent Casey Matney and Janice Chumley of the Integrated Pest Management Program will talk about insect pests and understanding soil tests. Julie Riley, a horticulture agent from Anchorage, will speak about local and national media coverage of Alaska's cut-flower peony industry.
Four three-hour preconference sessions are planned on Jan. 28 — Overview of Growing Peonies, Growing Peonies as Part of Your Investment Portfolio, Intensive School for Beginners, and Your Legacy, Your Estate and Retirement. The conference will also include local grower panels, Web construction classes, and several sessions on field maintenance, including pest and disease management.