University of Maryland Extension

2019 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention Pre-Convention Workshops

Monday, Jan. 28, 2019 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Hershey Lodge
325 University Drive
Hershey, PA 17033
United States

The 2019 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention (MAFVC)  is held each year to provide the latest updates and important information to fruit and vegetable growers from Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and surrounding states. The conference will be held at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center in Hershey, PA. on January 29 to January 31, 2019.

This year’s convention will feature several pre-convention workshops, a farm market bus tour, and a trade show with over 170 exhibitors plus three full days of six or more concurrent educational sessions. Sessions on tree fruits, small fruits, wine grapes, organic and general vegetables, pesticide safety, and many other topics are scheduled. The full program is provided at the end of this newsletter.

The keynote speaker is Andy Masters, an award winning author and international speaker on various leadership and customer service topics who has presented over 750 programs across North America.

As always, pesticide applicator credits will be available for Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey growers that attend the sessions.  Click here for convention program...


Unless otherwise noted, workshops will be conducted at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center in Hershey.

FSMA Grower Training   (9 AM - 5:15 PM)

Fee: $150 for non-PA growers - limited registration (includes lunch)
PA growers go to: to register for a reduced rate.

This training is for fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about: produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources and food safety. This PSA course is one way to satisfy the grower training requirement of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule as outlined in Section 112.22(c).

Participants in the course will learn about:

• Microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm;

• How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks, and how to implement produce safety practices on the farm;

• Requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and how to meet them.

After attending the entire course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have completed the training course.

Irrigation Basics (9 AM-3:30 PM, includes lunch)

Fee:  $60.00

This will be a hands-on, practical workshopcovering all aspects of irrigation of vegetable crops. Topic include irrigation system components and design, irrigation scheduling and moisture monitoring, fertigation, water sources and delivery systems, pumps, filtration, developing water systems on your farm, and water quality. Speakers/panelists include Bill Wolfram (Toro), Tim Elkner (Penn State Extension, Lancaster County), Dave King (Harvest Valley Farms, Valencia, PA), Brian Campbell (Campbell Farms, town?), Elsa Sanchez (Penn State University).

High Tunnel Bramble Production  (9:00 AM to 4:30 PM, includes lunch) 

Fee - $50

Presented in engaging panel discussion and question-answer formats, this workshop will cover the latest recommendations on production techniques and pest management resulting from the TunnelBerries project (, a cooperative effort of 7 Universities and the USDA.  Presenters will include project researchers, grower advisors, and industry personnel.   While some basic information will be covered, most topics will be covered in-depth and assume attendees have a working familiarity with tunnel structures and bramble production. Registration will be limited to 50 participants.

Greenhouse Short Course  (9:00 AM to 4:15 PM, includes lunch)

Fee: $85

Whether seeking to sharpen an “older” set of greenhouse skills or just getting started in the greenhouse industry, the 2019 Greenhouse Short Course is the place to be. Join us as experts from Penn State Extension and the Greenhouse Industry lead discussions on an array of greenhouse topics such as marketing, greenhouse structure selection, water quality, plant nutrition, potting media selection, artificial lighting, insect and disease management, and pesticide application equipment.

This program is appropriate for both organic and conventional growers and for new entrants into the greenhouse industry. Participants will receive a binder packed with reference materials as part of the registration fee. In order to maintain a quality learning environment, we are limiting registration to 50 participants, so act today and reserve your place in one of the premier greenhouse short courses held in the Mid-Atlantic region.

  • 9:00 AM: Registration
  • 9:30 AM:  Market Potential for Greenhouse Ornamentals, and Vegetables,Tom Ford, Penn State Extension
  • 10:00 AM: Greenhouse Structures, Design and Layout, Harry Edwards, Rimol Greenhouses
  • 10:45 AM: Break
  • 11:00 AM: Water Quality, Tom Ford
  • 11:30 AM Greenhouse Fertility, Krystal Snyder, J.R. Peters
  • 12:15 PM: Lunch
  • 1:00 PM: Media Selection and Management, Dale Rutherford
  • 1:30 PM: Illumination of Greenhouse Crops, Nick Flax, Penn State Extension
  • 2:00 PM: Disease Prevention and Management in Greenhouse Crops with an Emphasis on biocontrols, Steve Bogash, Marrone Bio Innovations
  • 2:45 PM: Break
  • 3:00 PM: Insect and Mite Management with an Emphasis on Biocontrols, Tom Ford
  • 3:45 PM: Pesticide Application Equipment for Greenhouses and High Tunnels, Jared Babik, Dramm
  • 4:15 PM: Adjourn

Intro to Social Media - Use and Marketing (12:30 PM – 4:00 PM)

Fee: $45.00

Instructors - Sarah Cornelisse & Kathy Kelley, Penn State Univ.

Social media has become a valuable marketing tool for businesses wanting direct connections with customers. The number of social media options available and their (constantly evolving) differences can be overwhelming. Tailored for beginners, this workshop will explore three of the most popular social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest – and how you can use these tools to market directly to your customers and potential customers.

Required – Attendees should bring their own laptop/device and already have business profiles/accounts created. Signing up and creating accounts will not be covered during this workshop.


·         Basic functions of three platforms

o   Facebook

o   Instagram

o   Pinterest

·         Using social media for market research

·         Drafting good posts

·         Activity – Evaluate 2-3 business pages/profiles

·         SM Best Practices

·         Developing your social media marketing strategy

o   Beginning strategy, goal, and timeline development

o   Exercise – develop and share 1 SM goal

·         Analytics

·         Q&A – integrated throughout the session

Market Research You Can Use (TBA) 

Fee: $35.00 (no lunch)

More details will be posted soon.

Pros and Cons of Thinning Apples Early (1:00 PM - 4:30 PM)  Class size is limited, so sign up early!

Fee: $55.00

Interested in learning more about improving the reliability of chemical thinning in your apple blocks?

Pomologists who lead research in early thinning strategies will discuss practical applications for optimum crop load management in your orchards.

1:00 p.m.–Review of Early Thinning Practicesfor Apples-Dr. Tom Kon,North Carolina State
1:30 p.m.–Blossom Thinning with Lime Sulfur-Dr. Jim Schupp, Penn State
2:00 p.m.–Pollen Tube Growth Modelfor Thinning-Dr. Keith Yoder, Virginia Tech Research
2:30 p.m.–NEWA Pollen Tube Model(Hands-On Session-bring your laptop or smart device)-Dr. Dan Olmstead, Cornell
3:00 p.m.–Break
3:15 p.m.–Disease Management Impacts-Dr. Keith Yoder, Virginia Tech Research
3:45 p.m.–New Use Patterns with AmidThin W -Dr. Jim Schupp, Penn State
4:15 p.m.–Regulatory Status & Discussion-Dr. Jim Schupp and Don Seifrit, Penn State

Farm Market Tour

Fee - $60 (includes bus and lunch)

This all-day bus tour will leave and return to the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center. The tour will visit the following locations: Oak Grove Farm, Mechanicsburg, Quality Greenhouse, Dillsburg, Maplewood Produce, Shippensburg, Pauls’ Country Market, Waynesboro, and Windy Knoll Market and Creamery, Chambersburg.


  • TO REGISTER BY MAIL AND PAY BY CHECK: click here...for offline registration form Mail your check payable to Maryland State Horticultural Society (MSHS) with registration form to: Susan Barnes, c/o MSHS, 18330 Keedysville Road, Keedysville, Maryland 21756-1104

Cancellations received up to registration deadline (January 19, 2018) will receive a refund (less the Eventbrite fees) No refunds will be issued after this date.

Special Note: The Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention and Pre-Convention Workshops will be held rain (SNOW) or shine.

Susan Barnes
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 
301-432-2767 x301
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