An estimated 2,200 or more persons are expected for the 2024 edition of the Mid-Atlantic Convention January 30 to February 1 at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Over 160 companies will represented in the trade show which is 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 on January 29 are expected to attract several hundred participants with the bus tour usually being sold out. This year’s Convention is noteworthy because the members of the North American Strawberry Growers Association from all over the continent will be holding their annual meeting in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic Convention. Various committees have been planning for the 2024 Convention with the goal of building on the 47-year history of a premier grower educational event.
The 2024 Educational Program features three days of six to nine concurrent sessions covering the following areas:
This year there will be a special emphasis on strawberry production topics because we will be joined by members of the North American Strawberry Growers Association.
In addition, there will be 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, presented along with selected growers from the Mid-Atlantic region.
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 will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on 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. Here’s the list of 2024 Trade Show exhibitors.
Eric lives in Perry county, PA where he enjoys most of his time on the family farm or in his backyard working on one of his many hobbies. His time on the farm showed him the importance of detailed, local weather forecasts which is why he pursued meteorology at Penn State. He received a B.S. in meteorology in 2003 and started working at his hometown news station. This will be Eric’s 21st year with abc27 where you can see him during the weekday evening newscasts at 5, 6, 7 and 11 p.m. Eric also provides science and agriculture stories for the station and writes a weather outlook for Lancaster Farming, a weekly regional newspaper.
When he is not forecasting or working in the fields, Eric enjoys learning new ways to improve his vegetable and fruit gardens, beekeeping, forest regeneration projects, helping his daughters with 4-H projects, or perhaps learning another new hobby. He is a member of the Capital Area Beekeepers Association and American Chestnut Foundation.
The day before the main Convention opens, growers can choose between a farm market bus tour or several different workshops. In 2024 the workshops offered will be Maximizing Strawberry Productivity, Producing Vegetable Transplants, Software Solutions for Farm Management, Sustainable High Tunnel Production, An Overview of the Farm Transition Process, FSMA Grower Training and Pennsylvania Pesticide Applicator License Training. The Lancaster and Berks County Farm Market Bus Tour will visit Reiff’s Farm Market in Ephrata, Brecknock Orchards in Mohnton, Weaver’s Orchard in Morgantown and Plum Creek Farm Market and Creamery in Bernville. As of January 5, the Bus Tour is sold out
The annual Mid-Atlantic Cider Contest is conducted during the Convention to determine the best cider in the region.
Respirator fit testing will be available for free at the 2024 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention.