About 2,200 fruit and vegetable growers and other industry persons from throughout the mid-Atlantic region and beyond will be gathering at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, for the Convention which will run from January 30 to February 1, 2018. 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 40 years, making the 2018 Convention the 41st meeting. The Virginia State Horticultural Society joined the Convention in 2014. Penn State University, University of Maryland, Rutgers University and Virginia Tech 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 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 later that day. Click here for more information on the Cider Contest.
The Great American Hall and the Aztec Room at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center hosts the Trade Show with over 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 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. the first two days, January 30 and 31. On February 1, they open at 8:00 a.m. but close at 2:00 p.m. Click here for a list of 2016 Trade Show exhibitors.
For information on exhibiting at the Trade Show, contact: Maureen Irvin, Convention Coordinator - 717-677-4184 or email@example.com
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. Click here to see the Educational Program details. Six or more concurrent educational sessions and workshops will be offered on all three days of the Convention.
On January 30, the annual Fruit and Vegetable Growers Reception and Banquet will be held. The Banquet will include awards and recognitions after a delicious buffet dinner. Tickets are required for the Banquet ($35). On February 1, there will be a reception for apple growers at 5:00 p.m. and the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association will host its annual Ice Cream Social for all Convention attendees at 7:00 p.m.
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. Click here for Registration Fees and Forms
Transportation and Directions
The Hershey Lodge and Convention Center is located in a triangle created by US Route 422 (Chocolate Avenue), University Drive, and US Route 322 (Governor Road). It is immediately across US Route 322 from the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.
The nearest airport is Harrisburg International Airport (HIA). The Hershey Lodge provides shuttle service from the airport for a fee. Contact the Lodge concierge at 717-533-3311 to make arrangements prior to your arrival. The Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) is about 90 minutes away. Shuttle service is not provided to BWI but rental cars are available. The Lodge has a Enterprise-Rent-a-Car office in the main lobby.
Amtrak provides train service to nearby Harrisburg and the Lodge shuttle service is available from the train station. Contact the Lodge concierge at 717-533-3311 to make arrangements prior to your arrival.
Deluxe accommodations are available at a special rate at the Hershey Lodge which is connected to the Convention Center. Click here for further information on lodging and the convention center.