Hershey, Pennsylvania; February 2-4, 2016

Thousands of fruit and vegetable growers and other industry persons from throughout the mid-Atlantic region and elsewhere are expected to converge in Hershey, Pennsylvania, for the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable convention in February. Held at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, the event is 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.

The National Peach Council and the Virginia State Horticultural Society will meet for their respective annual meeting. In addition, cooperative extensions such as Penn State University, University of Maryland, Rutgers University and Virginia Tech University will organize the three days of educational sessions.

The 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.

Trade show

The Great American Hall and the Aztec Room at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center hosts the Trade Show with more than 160 exhibitors. 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 Feb. 2-3 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m; and Feb. 4 from 8 a.m.- 2 p.m. For information on exhibiting at the Trade Show, contact Maureen Irvin, convention Coordinator at 717-677-4184 or shap@embarqmail.com.

Educational program

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 educational opportunity. Six or more concurrent educational sessions and workshops will be offered on all three days of the convention.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding speaking at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit & Vegetable Convention last year.

Social events

On Feb. 2, the annual Fruit and Vegetable Growers Reception and Banquet will include awards and recognitions after a buffet dinner. Tickets are required for the Banquet ($35). On Feb. 3, the Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Board and the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association will each sponsor evening receptions for growers.

Registration

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 more information, contact Maureen Irvin at 717-677-4184 or email at shap@embarqmail.com