The program has been finalized for the 10th annual Desert Vegetable Workshop and Expo set for Nov. 1 at the Yuma Convention Center.

The Expo opens at 7:30 a.m. with the first speaker scheduled for 8:45 a.m. The trade show and educational program will be in the main convention center hall.

"We think we have an excellent line up of speakers," said Kai Umeda, University of Arizona Extension vegetable specialist for the Yuma area. "We wanted to focus on marketing this year, presenting a wide array of topics dealing with that area."

There also will be production topics as well as speakers on issues like labor, according to Keith Mayberry, Umeda's counterpart in Imperial County, Calif. Continuing education credit will be available for pest control advisors in both California and Arizona as well as Certified Crop Advisor CE hours.

More than a dozen exhibitors have signed up for the Expo and more are expected before opening day.

"This year's program is free, including lunch, and that is made possible by the support of the Expo's commercial exhibitors," said Umeda.

Here is a list of the Expo's commercial supporters:

Bayer Corp. Dune Co. of Yuma Harris Moran Seed Co. Incotec Naumann-Hobbs Material Handling Novartis Seed Inc. Petoseed Priority Cooling Rain for Rent T-Systems International Weather Tec Corp.

$800 at forklift rodeo Western Growers Association will award $800 in savings bonds to the winners of the forklift rodeo at the 10th annual Desert Vegetable Workshop and Expo Nov.1 in Yuma, Ariz.

The first place winner will receive a $500 bond; second place $250 and third, $50.

Lourdes Gonzalez with WGA Insurance Services in Yuma is coordinating the event.

"We conduct forklift safety workshops for shippers and growers here and this is an extension of that work," she said. "We are excited about the opportunity to offer a forklift rodeo to reward the best operators here in the desert."

The rodeo will start 2:30 p.m. in the convention center parking lot where forklift operators will compete against each other in prescribed loading, unloading and driving tasks.

Naumann-Hobbs Material Handling and Priority Cooling, both of Yuma, are providing the forklift, bins and other supplies for the forklift rodeo.