Nov 24, 2023Strawberry growers group to join 2024 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention
Multiple concurrent educational sessions and a large industry trade show will be featured during the three days of the 2024 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention.
In its 47th year, this coming year’s event is scheduled for Jan. 30-Feb. 1 at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
The convention also plans to host the annual meeting of the North American Strawberry Growers Association (NASGA). That event is expected to attract growers from all over North America, according to a news release.
Typically, more than 2,200 fruit, vegetable and berry growers and other industry personnel from throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond gather each year for what has become one of the premier East Coast grower meetings.
The program covers nearly every aspect of fruit, vegetable, potato and berry production. Plans are being made to offer educational sessions covering a full range of topics in tree fruit, vegetable, small fruit, and potato production plus retail and wholesale marketing. With NASGA members joining this year’s meeting, convention sponsors plan a special emphasis on strawberry production, according to the release.
On Jan. 29, the day before the main convention opens, growers can choose between a bus tour of farm markets in Berks and Lancaster counties or several workshops.
The buses plan to visit Reiff’s Farm Market in Ephrata, Brecknock Orchards in Mohnton, Weaver’s Orchard in Morgantown and Plum Creek Farm Market and Creamery in Bernville.
The pre-convention workshops include maximizing strawberry productivity, producing vegetable transplants, software solutions for farm management, sustainable high tunnel production, recall readiness, an overview of the farm transition process, specialty mushrooms, FSMA grower training and Pennsylvania pesticide applicator license training.
Opening day production sessions cover high tunnels, tree fruit, strawberries, general vegetables, herbs, irrigation automation/technology and nut trees.
Second day sessions include tomatoes, tree fruit, strawberries, general vegetables, stone fruit, greenhouse ornamentals, general small fruit, and organic vegetable production plus two labor/farm management sessions focusing on H-2A issues.
Final day sessions include tree fruit, stone fruit, small fruit, strawberries, general vegetables, pumpkins, potatoes, wildlife damage control, soil health/cover crops, postharvest handling, hydroponic vegetables and high-value niche crops.
Marketing sessions over the three days cover Marketing 101, agritourism marketing, farm market management, creative marketing, wholesale marketing and social media and digital marketing.
Roundtable discussions will cover retail farm marketing and Why We Farm: Faith and Family.
Special sessions, including various relevant production presentations focusing on Spanish speaking workers in the fruit and vegetable industries, are also planned.
A trade show will display specialized horticultural equipment, farm market merchandise and packaging and provide information on the latest seed varieties, fruit varieties, pesticides and other supplies and services for commercial growers.
The convention is sponsored by the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association, the Maryland State Horticultural Society, the New Jersey State Horticultural Society and the Virginia State Horticultural Society. Penn State, University of Maryland, Rutgers and Virginia Tech Extension personnel organize sessions.
Registration with any of the five sponsoring organizations allows one to attend any of the sessions although there are additional charges for workshops and meals.
A more detailed schedule with topics and speakers will be announced soon on the convention website at mafvc.org. Further information can also be obtained by telephoning 717-677-4184 or 717-973-5915.