Conference on climate and technology in grape production offered in Traverse City

Join Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University at Weathering the Climate: Cultivation and Technology in Grape Production on Sept. 5, 2014.

Photo credit: Joy Landis, MSU
Photo credit: Joy Landis, MSU

Climate and technology are two swiftly changing factors with potential for significant impact on agricultural production. Weathering the Climate: Cultivation and Technology in Grape Production, hosted by Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University, will feature experts in agricultural technology, climatology, horticulture and other areas related to unmanned aerial systems technology and the science of grape production. The conference includes sessions on topics such as:

  • Climate change and potential agronomic impacts in the Great Lakes region.
  • Impacts of the 2014 Polar Vortex on grapes and lessons learned.
  • How to manage grapes for our changing climate.
  • Unmanned systems and technology applications in viticulture.

Experts speaking at the Weathering the Climate conference include Brian Matchett, MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology; Jeff Andresen, MSU Department of Geography; Imed Dami, Ohio State University Department of Horticulture and Crop Science; Paolo Sabbatini, MSU Department of Horticulture; Duke Elsner, Michigan State University Extension; Ed Bailey, NMC Technical Division; and Tony Sauerbrey, NMC Unmanned Aerial Systems. View the full program.

Vineyard demonstration and grower panel discussion

There will be a vineyard demonstration of unmanned systems at Chateau Chantal Vineyard and Winery and a panel of grape growers who will discuss practical applications of unmanned systems technology in vineyard management. The panel will include Ben Bramer, Agrivine; Stan Howell, MSU Department of Horticulture; Mark Johnson, Chateau Chantal; Larry Mawby, L. Mawby Vineyards; James Peters, Staits Area Grape Growers Association; and Coenraad Stassen, Brys Estate Vineyard.

Registration and lodging

The conference is Friday, Sept. 5 at the Hagerty Center at NMC’s Great Lakes Campus, 710 E. Front Street, Traverse City, MI 49686. The all-day conference begins at 8 a.m. and includes an optional dinner at the Peninsula Grill.

Register for the event online at Cost for the conference is $60, conference and dinner is $85. Hotel rooms for conference attendees have been reserved at the Bayshore Resort, a short walk away from the Hagerty Center. Mention the Weathering Climate Grape Production conference to obtain the discounted room rate. Thursday night rates range from $97 to $128 per night, and Friday night rates range from $163 to $199 per night, plus 11 percent tax, depending on the room.

For more information

Contact Brian Matchett, Regional Program Coordinator, Northwest Michigan Office, MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology at 231-995-1719 or

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