2019 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention Set for January 29 to 31

The 2019 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention will be held January 29 to 31, 2019, at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Over 2,400 fruit, vegetable, and berry growers and other industry persons from throughout the mid-Atlantic region and beyond are expected to attend. This year’s convention will again feature several pre-convention workshops, a farm market bus tour, and a trade show with over 165 exhibitors plus three full days of six or more concurrent educational sessions. This year’s keynote speaker is Andy Masters, an award-winning author and international speaker on various leadership and customer service topics who has presented over 750 programs across North America.

The day before the main Convention opens, growers can choose between a bus tour of farm markets or several different workshops. The workshops include FSMA Grower Training, Pros and Cons of Thinning Apples Early, Irrigation Basics, High Tunnel Bramble Production, Greenhouse Short Course, Introduction to Social Media and Pennsylvania Pesticide Applicator License Training.

Andy Masters will present his keynote presentation – Leadership Lessons from Hollywood – on the opening day of the Convention, January 29. He has been the keynote speaker for the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association and other events in Pennsylvania. Andy has earned the prestigious CSP award of the National Speakers Association (NSA), the highest international recognition for professional speakers, achieved by less than 10% of the 5,000+ speakers worldwide.

Andy has written 5 books and earned 4 degrees, including an M.A.-Human Resources Development and an M.A.-Marketing from Webster University in Missouri. He is the author of the award-winning book “Kiss Your Customer: 77 Reasons Why Sales & Service Are Just Like Dating & Relationships” and his latest book “Things LEADERS Say: A Daily Guide to Help Every Leader Empower & Inspire.” Andy has been featured on the LifeTime Television network, PBS, Investor’s Business Daily, and Leadership Excellence magazine. His website is www.Andy-Masters.com (Click on Business).

On the opening day of the Convention, besides Mr. Master’s keynote presentation, there will be sessions on Season Extension and High Tunnels, Organic Vegetables, Tree Fruit, Wildlife Controls, General Vegetables, Irrigation, Allium Pests, Snap Beans, Cut Flowers, Edible Flowers, Wholesale Marketing, Food Trends, and Farm Market Bakeries.

Sessions on the second day include Tomatoes, Tree Fruit, Stone Fruit, Farm Market Trends, Farm Market Financial Management, Small Fruit, Wine Grapes, Greenhouse Ornamentals, Soil Health, and General Vegetables. Also offered will be the session “Técnicas de Producción de Frutas y Hortalizas” especially for Spanish speaking workers in the fruit and vegetable industries. It will feature various relevant production presentations in Spanish.

On the final day of the Convention, sessions on Sweet Corn, Pumpkins and Vine Crops, Peppers and Eggplant, Greenhouse Vegetables, Tree Fruit, Small Fruit, Stone Fruit, Potatoes, Pollinators, Farm Management, Creative Direct Marketing and Social Media Skills will be featured.

The Mid-Atlantic 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 41 years making this year’s Convention the 42nd meeting. In 2014, the Virginia State Horticultural Society also began meeting at the Convention. The Pennsylvania State University, University of Maryland, Rutgers University Cooperative Extension and Virginia Tech University all assist in organizing the three days of educational sessions.

The Convention has become one of the premier grower meetings in the Northeast. The Great American Hall and the Aztec Room at the Hershey Lodge will host most of the Trade Show with several additional booths being located in the Confection Level Lobby. Specialized horticultural equipment, farm market merchandise, and packaging will all be on display along with information on the latest seed varieties, fruit varieties, pesticides and other supplies and services for the commercial grower.

Many pesticide applicator update training credits will be available to Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia growers attending the sessions. The program covers nearly every aspect of fruit, vegetable, potato and berry production. Commercial growers should not pass up this terrific educational opportunity.

The thirteenth annual Mid-Atlantic Cider Contest will be conducted during the Convention to determine the best tasting cider produced in the region. On January 29, fruit and vegetable growers will gather for the annual Fruit and Vegetable Growers Banquet which will include awards and recognitions. On January 30, there will be an Ice Cream Social for all in the evening plus a reception for apple growers. This year’s Ice Cream Social will feature special tables set aside for discussion of specific topics among growers.

Registration is required for all persons attending the Convention trade show or educational 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. For further information, go to www.mafvc.org or call 717-677-4184 or 717-694-3596.