About 1,800 fruit and vegetable growers and other industry persons from throughout the mid-Atlantic region and beyond will gather at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center in Hershey, Pa., for the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention, which will run January 31 - February 2, 2012. Registration is open to all interested commercial fruit and vegetable growers and allied industry personnel.
The convention has been jointly sponsored by the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association, the Maryland State Horticultural Society and the New Jersey State Horticultural Society for the past 34 years, making the 2012 convention the 35th meeting. The National Peach Council will meet at the convention for its annual meeting as well. The Pennsylvania State University, University of Maryland and Rutgers University cooperative extensions all assist in organizing the three days of educational sessions. The convention has become one of the premier grower meetings in the Northeast.
The sixth annual Mid-Atlantic Apple Cider Contest will be held during the convention. Entries from commercial orchards in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia and Delaware will be accepted and judged on the opening day of the convention. The results will be announced on the closing day of the convention.
The Great American Hall at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center hosts most of the trade show with over 160 exhibitors, but for 2012 the trade show has been expanded to include additional exhibitors in the Aztec Room of the convention center. Specialized horticultural equipment, farm market merchandise, and packaging are all on display, along with information on the latest seed varieties, fruit varieties, pesticides and other supplies and services for the commercial grower.
The trade show exhibits are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. the first two days, January 31 and February 1. On February 2, they open at 8 a.m. but close at 2 p.m.
Many pesticide applicator update training credits are available to growers attending the sessions. The program covers nearly every aspect of fruit, vegetable, potato, strawberry, bramble, cut flower, greenhouse and wine grape production. Commercial growers should not pass up this terrific educational opportunity. Six or more concurrent educational sessions and workshops will be offered on all three days of the convention.
On January 31, fruit and vegetable growers will be treated to a reception followed by the annual Fruit and Vegetable Growers Dinner. The dinner will include awards and recognitions after a delicious buffet dinner. On February 1, the Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Board and the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association will each sponsor evening receptions for growers. Tickets are required for the Banquet ($35).
Persons registered for either the fruit, vegetable or berry programs can attend all the sessions offered (fruit, vegetable, berry, and flower sessions) plus the trade show. Registration either through the mail or at the door is required to attend both the trade show and educational sessions.
For further information, go to www.mafvc.org or call 717-677-4184 or 717-694-3596.