Convention Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention Home About the Conference Schedule Exhibitors Registration Lodging Proceedings Convention

Celebrating 40 Years

1978 - 2017

The State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania held its first Annual Meeting in 1859 in Lancaster. The Association met on its own annually at various locations around the state. In 1975 they invited the State Horticultural Societies of Maryland and New Jersey to meet with them in Gettysburg. This tri-state meeting as very successful over the next couple of years so that in 1977 they began looking for larger venue that would allow a greater number of commercial exhibitors for the trade show. The Hershey Motor Inn and Convention Center (as the Hershey Lodge was then known) was identified as a possible site. To help make the move to this larger facility more feasible, the three state fruit grower groups invited the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association and the Pennsylvania Wine Grape Growers Association to join them for the 1978 meetings. The Vegetable Growers previously held their annual Pennsylvania Vegetable Conference in State College. Thus the 1978 meeting is considered the first year of the joint fruit and vegetable grower meetings. After several years, the Wine Grape Growers Association discontinued meeting with the other four groups.

By 1983 total paid attendance at the meetings had reached 956 and continued to grow in subsequent years. The trade show expanded from the entire lower level of the Hershey Convention Center to also include the Aztec Room on the first floor. Fortunately, as attendance continued to grow, the Convention Center also expanded. In 1999, the Great American Hall opened providing the opportunity to expand the trade show from 150 booths on two levels to 189 booths in one room. The expansion also allowed for more concurrent educational sessions in the lower level of the Convention Center that was previously used for the trade show. Currently, seven to nine concurrent educational sessions are scheduled during the Convention utilizing all the available meeting room space in the facility. Continued demand for more trade show booths eventually required the Aztec Room to again be used for additional trade show space allowing a total of 228 booths.

For the first 22 years, these joint fruit and vegetable grower meetings were termed the Annual Meeting of the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania in conjunction with the Horticultural Societies of Maryland and New Jersey and the Pennsylvania Vegetable Conference. In 1999 a more concise name, the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention, was adopted. About that time the Convention Joint Committee with representatives from the four organizations (four from the State Horticultural Association, four from the Vegetable Growers, one from the Maryland Horticultural Society and one from the New Jersey Horticultural Society) was established with authority to manage the Convention affairs under by-laws agreed to by all four groups. In 2014, the Virginia State Horticultural Society asked to begin meeting at the Convention on a provisional basis. For the 2017 Convention, the Virginia group became the fifth permanent sponsoring group of the Convention with a seat on the Convention Joint Committee.


Plan Now to Attend the

2018 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention

January 30 - February 1, 2018

Hershey Lodge and Convention Center


The Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention has become the premier grower meeting in the Northeast combining three days of six or more concurrent educational sessions with a large industry trade show and numerous networking opportunities - all designed to enable fruit, vegetable and berry growers as well as direct marketers to stay on the cutting edge of their industries. About 2,200 persons from throughout the mid-Atlantic region and beyond gather each year at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center for the Convention.  Registration is open to all interested commercial fruit, vegetable and berry growers, direct marketers and allied industry personnel.

Educational Program
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. The educational program for the 2018 Convention will be posted in November 2017. Six or more concurrent educational sessions will be offered on all three days of the Convention.

The day before the main Convention opens, growers can choose between a farm market bus tour and several different pre-convention workshops that will be announced in November 2017.  The farm market bus tour will visit several different farm markets allowing participants to see other markets and network with fellow farm marketers.  The workshops offer a full- or half-day of focused instruction in a given area of interest.

strawberries The annual Mid-Atlantic Cider Contest is conducted during the Convention to determine the best cider in the region.

For general information on the Convention program, contact William Troxell, Publicity Coordinator at 717-694-3596 or

For information on exhibiting at the Convention, contact Maureen Irvin, Convention Coordinator at 717-677-4184 or

The Hershey Lodge and Convention Center is located at 325 University Drive, Hershey, PA  17033.

 Future dates for the Mid-Atlantic Convention are as follows:

  • January 29 to 31, 2019
  • January 28 to 30, 2020
  • February 2 to 4, 2021
  • February 1 to 3, 2022



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