UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Fruit and vegetable growers will have an opportunity to dive deep into industry topics during presentations by Penn State experts at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention, Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in Hershey.
This three-day event is known as one of the premier grower meetings in the Northeast. Convention organizers expect 2,200 fruit and vegetable growers and other industry stakeholders from the mid-Atlantic region and beyond to attend. The program will cover nearly every aspect of fruit, vegetable, potato, berry, cut flower, and greenhouse production and marketing. Attendees can earn pesticide applicator recertification credits at the educational sessions.
Experts from Penn State Extension and Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences will present on topics related to greenhouse vegetables, farm transition plans, high tunnels, disease management, urban agriculture, tree fruit, biocontrols, marketing, tomatoes, vegetable production, greenhouse ornamentals, small fruit, stone fruit, diversification in agritourism, potatoes, sweet corn, pollinators, and digital marketing and online sales.
A detailed schedule of presentations is available online at https://www.mafvc.org/schedule/.
On Wednesday, Feb. 1, the convention will include a full day of practical production programming presented in Spanish for farm and orchard workers. This session will include expert speakers from the Penn State Extension Latinx Agricultural Network and the College of Agricultural Sciences. More information about the Spanish program is available on the convention website.
Other highlights include a pre-convention bus tour of horticultural businesses in the Adams County area and several workshops. During the convention, the Mid-Atlantic Cider Contest will take place to determine the best cider in the region. A trade show will feature more than 160 exhibitors displaying specialized horticultural equipment and farm market merchandise, along with information on the latest seed and fruit varieties, pesticides, and other supplies and services for the commercial grower.
For the past 45 years, the convention has been sponsored jointly by the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association, the Maryland State Horticultural Society, and the New Jersey State Horticultural Society. The Virginia State Horticultural Society joined the convention in 2014. Penn State Extension, University of Maryland Extension, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, and Virginia Cooperative Extension all assist in organizing the educational sessions.
The convention is held at the Hershey Lodge. The registration fee allows a participant to attend all the educational sessions and enter the exhibit area. Membership in one of the five sponsoring organizations entitles everyone from a farm — family members or employees — to register at the discounted member rate. Separate fees apply for the pre-convention workshops and bus tours. Attendance at these events does not require convention registration.