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



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.

Trade Show

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 2017 Trade Show exhibitors.

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

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. 
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.

Social Events 
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 (). 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.


Our History

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.

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