PVMRP Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program

May 22, 2023
PA growers approve continuing vegetable marketing, research program

Keystone State growers have approved continuing the Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program (PVMRP).

Nearly 79% of the vegetable growers voting in the review referendum on the PVMRP voted “Yes” to continue the Program for another five-year period.

PVMRP logo Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program feature imageMore than 2,000 ballots were mailed to growers. A total of 309 eligible ballots were received with 243 voting “Yes” to continue the Program and 66 voting “No.” Eight ballots were ruled to be ineligible or spoiled, according to a news release from the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association.

The official results will be announced in a letter to growers from Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding. “The Vegetable Marketing and Research Program Board greatly appreciates this vote of confidence in the work of the program,” PVGA said in the release. “PVGA also strongly supported the continuance of the Vegetable Marketing and Research Program and is encouraged by the continued grower support.”

Since its establishment, the PVMRP has funded more than $755,000 worth of vegetable research by Penn State and other universities and research entities. The program funded research that helped establish systems to monitor tomato diseases and sweet corn insect pests so growers can time their fungicide and insecticide applications to be more effective.

PVGA logo Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers AssociationVarious weed and root rot control methods for snap beans and other crops have been evaluated by the program’s research efforts. A long-term tomato breeding project plus variety trials for several different crops have been supported as well as herbicide, plasticulture and high tunnel studies. Throughout the history of the program, PVGA has worked with the program to fund vegetable research projects, with PVGA adding another $1 million to the effort, largely from the association’s profits from its farm show food booth, according to the release.

In addition, more than $600,000 grower assessment dollars have been supplemented by more than $600,000 in state and federal grants to promote Pennsylvania vegetables. The program has distributed thousands of price cards, price paddles, stickers, recipe cards, brochures, banners, posters and signs to growers and markets across the state, enabling them to promote Pennsylvania vegetables with professional looking point-of-purchase materials.

In addition, the PVMRP has touted Pennsylvania vegetables to millions of consumers on the radio airwaves, on billboards and in newspapers across the state. The annual “August is Pennsylvania Produce Month” promotion supported by the program’s consumer website is transitioning to a “Summer Means Local and Local Means Delicious” campaign running from July through September.

PA Pennsylvania Produce logo Summer Means LocalA state marketing order for Pennsylvania vegetable growers established under the Pennsylvania Agricultural Commodities Marketing Act, PVMRP has been consistently supported by growers in previous review referendums. In 2018, 80% of the growers voted in favor of continuing the program compared to 85% in 2013, 84% in 2008, 78% in 2003, 66% in 1998 and 60% in 1993, according to the release.

In 1998, PVGA petitioned the Department of Agriculture to conduct the initial grower referendum that established the program with the goal of involving all Pennsylvania vegetable growers in the work of promoting Pennsylvania-grown vegetables and funding practical vegetable production research.

The PVMRP is controlled by a board consisting of the Secretary of Agriculture (or his designee), 12 growers appointed by the Secretary with four growers being appointed from each of the western, central and eastern regions of the Commonwealth, and a representative sales agents. Board members serve without compensation other than travel expenses to attend meetings. PVGA looks forward to continuing to work with the program’s board to promote PA Veggies and to funding additional research, according to the release.

Growers are required to pay an annual $25 assessment for the first five units of production plus $1.50 for each additional unit of production. Units of production are acres for field production and 1,000 square feet of greenhouse or high tunnel production area.

Current Issue

VGN April Cover

Insect Eavesdropper allows growers to “hear” what’s happening in fields

Managing wildlife on the farm

Southwest Florida’s Worden Farm manages challenges

Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association says farewell to leader

Southeast Regional Show recognizes leaders

Veg Connections: Biopesticides and beneficial insects

Business: Why do most succession plans fail?

60 years of advocating for agricultural employers

Keeping CSA members engaged and loyal

see all current issue »

Be sure to check out our other specialty agriculture brands

produceprocessingsm Organic Grower