Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Hershey

Posted: February 10, 2016

Lee Stivers, Extension Educator from District 10, speaks at the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention

During the first week of February 2016, Lee Stivers, Extension Educator from District 10, attended the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention (the premier grower meeting in the Northeast) in Hershey, Pa. She has been involved in planning and presenting at this conference for fifteen years, and many of her co-workers on the Horticulture teams are also involved.

The convention is a wonderful opportunity for growers, researchers and extension educators to meet, exchange ideas, learn, and make plans for the upcoming season.

Held at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, this conference is 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. In addition, cooperative extensions such as Penn State University, University of Maryland, Rutgers University and Virginia Tech University organized three days of educational sessions.

While at the conference, Lee had the opportunity to meet with growers such as Mark and Andrew Duda (Fayette County), and Bob Simmons (Washington County). “It is a really fantastic opportunity to discuss production issues, current research, and more.“ said Stivers. “Many of the larger vegetable and fruit growers in our district attend this nationally acclaimed grower convention.”

Lee stated, “Approximately one-hundred and twenty-five growers attended the Root Crops session that I organized. I also gave a talk in this session on improving accuracy when measuring pesticides.”

Above you see a picture from the Spanish session where Lee spoke. Thirty-eight Hispanic farm workers, managers and farmers practiced weed ID following as part of a hands-on presentation.

During this three-day convention, twenty-eight growers received training in GAPs and farm food safety regulations in one of Monday's preceding workshops, organized by Lee Stivers and Dr. Luke LaBorde, Department Food Science, Penn State.

Preliminary attendance figures indicate a new attendance record this year, of nearly 2,400 persons. In addition, over 500 persons attended the six pre-convention workshops, and/or the farm market bus tour.