Politics, food safety and immigration issues will be key topics Aug. 21-23 at the Texas Produce Convention at the Sheraton Beach Resort on South Padre Island.

The convention opens with association board meetings and a golf tournament Aug. 23. An opening reception is scheduled for Thursday evening. Friday's agenda begins with a discussion on the presidential election at a breakfast meeting. A general session will feature food safety with speakers looking at science, legislation and training. One speaker will provide a food buyer's perspective on food safety.

A keynote address will focus on immigration challenges.

Breakout sessions are scheduled for Saturday morning on food safety, emerging pest control technology and new opportunities to market Texas produce. The meeting concludes with an awards luncheon.

Along with updates on emerging issues and production techniques, participants also have an opportunity to view the latest in equipment, services and technology in an industry trade show.

The convention also features the annual casino night, a wine tasting and musical entertainment.

The Texas Produce Association (TPA) was created in 1942 by a group of industry leaders who shared a vision to expand the Texas produce industry. Realizing that by working together as a group they could reap greater benefits, they formed TPA to represent the interest of shippers of Texas-grown fruits and vegetables.

In 1996, in response to evolving needs of the members, the scope of TPA was expanded to address the problems and opportunities surrounding the importation and marketing of foreign-grown produce. That same year, two divisions were created — the Shipper Division and the International Trade Division.

In 1998, it was the consensus that an organized, generic promotional and advertising program was essential to the economic future of the industry. The citrus segment of the association's membership had an established, well-funded advocate in TexaSweet Citrus Marketing Inc., which continues to represent the industry to this day.

For more information on the association and for registration materials for the 2008 convention: call (956) 581-8632 or log on to www.texasproduceassociation.com.