Fruit Growers Striving for the Best

2019 Summer Tour visiting Arterra     Photo Credit:Christopher Black


The 2020 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention will be held January 28 to 30, 2020, 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 160 exhibitors, plus three full days of six or more concurrent educational sessions. This year’s keynote speaker is Todd Hunt, a noted speaker on developing business communication skills.


The day before the main Convention opens, growers can choose between a bus tour of farm markets in the Lancaster area or several different workshops. The workshops include Cultivating Leadership; FSMA Grower Training; Tomato School; Hemp Production; Bees, Pollinators, and Pollination and Pennsylvania Pesticide Applicator License Training.

Todd Hunt’s keynote presentation on January 28 will be entitled “Communication Bleeps and Blunders in Business”.  This is an insightful look at improving communication to become more successful…with dozens of everyday examples that will leave you chuckling in recognition.

  • Discover “where your listener is coming from” and how to tailor your communication style accordingly.

  • Review the eight problem words that could cost you business.

  • Never think about voice mail the same again!

Todd Hunt is a rare speaker whose style and humor keep audiences riveted while demonstrating the power of communication in our lives.  As an executive at Ogilvy & Mather, one of the world’s largest advertising agencies, Todd learned the “inner workings” of communication. Additional jobs with an insurance administrator, direct marketing company and ad department of a major retailer confirmed what he had suspected all along — we all mess up communicating!  Then he started his own successful marketing agency in Chicago. Working with trade associations, retailers, non-profits and financial companies, Todd sold insurance, credit accounts, trade shows, seminars, theater tickets, memberships, and other products and services to consumer and business audiences.  He discovered that people were hungry to hear his funny stories about sales, customer service, leadership, and change, which he gathered during his business career.


On the opening day of the Convention, besides Mr. Hunt’s keynote presentation, there will be sessions on Tree Fruit, Basic Vegetable Production, Tomatoes, General Vegetable Production, Cole Crops, Alliums, Sweet Potatoes, Legumes, Composting, Soil Health, Farmers’ Health, Building Creative Displays, Retail Marketing and Wholesale Marketing.


Sessions on the second day include Tree Fruit, Pumpkins/Vine Crops, Sweet Corn, Greenhouse Ornamentals, Organic Vegetable Production, Small Fruit, Stone Fruit, Wine Grapes, Employee Recruitment and Retention, Marketing 101 and Creating Value-Added Products and Services.  In addition, there will be special topics for farmworkers presented in Spanish.

On the final day of the Convention, sessions on High Tunnels, Potatoes, Small Fruit, Wine Grapes, Leafy Greens, Cut Flowers, Greenhouse Vegetables, Food Safety, Farm Management, Agritourism, Social Media, Tree Fruit, and Stone Fruit will be featured.

The Mid-Atlantic Convention has been jointly sponsored by the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association, Maryland State Horticultural Society and the New Jersey State Horticultural Society for the past 42 years making this year’s Convention the 43rd 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 fourteenth annual Mid-Atlantic Cider Contest will be conducted during the Convention to determine the best tasting cider produced in the region. On January 28, fruit and vegetable growers will gather for the annual Fruit and Vegetable Growers Banquet which will include awards and recognitions. On January 29, 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 again 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 or to register click here...       


JAN. 28- 30, 2020 
Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention

The Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention will be held on January 28 to January 30, 2020  The convention will provide latest updates and important information to fruit and vegetable growers from Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and surrounding states. Click here to register...

JAN. 29, 2020
MSHS Members Business Meeting

MSHS Members Business Meeting will take place on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, 4:45 p.m. at Hershey Lodge, 325 University Dr., Room: TBA,  Hershey, PA 17033

Feb. 13, 2020
Western Maryland Regional Fruit Meeting

Time: 9 am to 4 pm

Location: Western Maryland Research & Education Center, Keedysville, MD.

Registration or more Info: click here

Contact: Susan Barnes at (301) 432-2767 x301 or

Feb. 21, 2020
Bay Area Fruit School

Time: 8:30 am to 3:30 pm

Location: Wye Research and Education Center, Queenstown MD

Registration or more Info: click here

Contact: Mike Newell at (410) 827-7388


The membership year runs from January 1st to December 31st.  Membership dues are collected during the registration process for the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention.  For those seeking membership after the convention click here... for more information.


Tree Assistance Program (TAP) is to provide financial assistance to qualifying orchardists to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes, and vines that were damaged by natural disasters. To learn more about this program and eligibility, click here for more info >>


WMREC Horticultural Twilight Meeting & Tour

Click here to access handouts >>


Click on the links below:

Bay Area Fruit School  (link to presentations & video's) 
Western Maryland Regional Fruit Meeting (presentations)


Click on the links below:

Horticultural Technology Newsletter

Spotted Wing Drosophila Monitoring and Management 
University of Maryland Fact Sheet 1023, November 2015



Click on the links below:
Maryland Apples

Maryland's Best
National Peach Council
University of Maryland Extension: Grapes and Fruit
University of Maryland: Aronia
Mid-Atlantic Aronia Growers Association

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