The program chairpersons and committees are working on planning another first-class, three-day grower educational program for the 2023 edition of the 2023 Mid-Atlantic Convention January 31 to February 2 at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Meanwhile exhibitors are being recruited to fill the 231 booths available in the trade show which is always sold-out with a waiting list of exhibitors anxious to get into the show. A series of pre-convention workshops and a farm market bus tour are being planned for January 30. After a virtual convention in 2021 due to the pandemic and a successful but slightly smaller in-person convention in 2022, the Convention Committee is looking forward to a 2023 Convention that builds on the 46-year history of a premier grower educational event.
The 2023 Educational Program will feature three days of six to nine concurrent sessions covering the following areas:
In addition, there is a full day of practical production programming presented in Spanish for farm and orchard workers. Expert speakers from Penn State, Rutgers, University of Maryland, and Virginia Tech, along with others from across the country, will present with selected growers from the Mid-Atlantic region. Click here for details on the Spanish program.
The Great American Hall, the Aztec Room, and the Confection Level Lobby at the Hershey Lodge hosts the Trade Show with over 160 exhibitors filling 231 booths. 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. on the first two days, January 31 and February 1. On February 2, they open at 8:00 a.m. but close at 2:00 p.m. Here’s the list of 2022 Trade Show exhibitors, most of whom are expected to return for the 2023 Convention.
Michael Kilpatrick is a farmer, presenter, host, inventor, and online entrepreneur who lives to help entrepreneurs apply business principles and practical, proven solutions to grow their businesses and simplify their lives. He is the owner of Growing Farmers, an online farmer education platform, host of the top-rated Thriving Farmer Podcast; and host of the Thriving Farmer Summit series, which has been viewed by over a quarter million farmers. He has managed large farms and businesses, consulted for industry experts worldwide, and spoken at dozens of conferences. Michael believes anyone can build a profitable farm by following the proprietary RIPEN system that he teaches at the Small Farm University, his company’s educational platform and community for thriving farmers. Michael lives in an 1890s brick house on his 8-acre urban Farm on Central in Southwest Ohio with his wife and 3 kids.
The day before the main Convention opens, growers can choose between a bus tour of horticultural businesses in the Adams County area or several different workshops. The workshops include Greenhouse Vegetables, Fruit Tree Pruning, Managing a Profitable Farm Market Bakery, Farm Transition, FSMA Grower Training, Spotted Lanternfly Permit Training, and Pennsylvania Pesticide Applicator License Training. The bus tour will be visiting Hollabaugh Brothers farm market, Musselman’s Greenhouse, Rice Fruit Co., and Adams County Nursery with lunch at Hickory Bridge Farm.
The annual Mid-Atlantic Cider Contest is conducted during the Convention to determine the best cider in the region.