2013 New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference

December 17-19, Manchester, N.H.

The New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference and Trade Show will be held December 17-19 at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, N.H., and will include more than 25 educational sessions over three days, covering major vegetable, berry and tree fruit crops as well as various special topics. A Farmer-to-Farmer meeting after each morning and afternoon session will bring speakers and farmers together for informal, in-depth discussions on certain issues. There is also an extensive trade show with over 100 exhibitors.

The registration fee to attend any part or all of the conference or trade show is $105 for the first member of the farm or business and $75 for each additional member (family or employee) when preregistered with the first member. The registration fee for students (high school or college) is $45. There is an additional fee of $30 ($20 for students) per person for late registration or walk-ins.

For registration information, contact Mark Hutton at 207-933-2100 or For conference information, contact Jude Boucher at 860-875-3331 or, or visit


Tuesday, December 17

8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Trade Show

9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m

Greenhouse Tomato

Sweet Corn

Mechanical Weed Control


Specialty Fruit

12 - 1 p.m.


12:45 - 1:45 p.m.

Farmer-to-Farmer: Tractor Cultivation for Weed Control

Farmer-to-Farmer: Organic Fruit from A to Z

2 - 4:30 p.m.

Winter Growing

Direct Marketing Using Technology


Stone Fruit


4 - 6 p.m.

Trade Show

4:30 - 6 p.m.

Trade Show Social

4:45 - 5:45 p.m.

Hand Cultivation & Hand Tools: Demos, Tools on Display, Maintenance

5 - 7:30 p.m.

Spotted Wing Drosophila

Wednesday, December 18

8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Trade Show

9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Tunnel Engineering

Root Crops


Tree Fruit I

Blueberry I

12 - 1 p.m.


12:45 - 1:45 p.m.

Massachusetts Fruit Growers Association Annual Meeting

Farmer-to-Farmer: The Value of Quality Seeds

Farmer-to-Farmer: Winter Growing/ Season Extension

2 - 4:30 p.m.

Tunnel Soil Health

Blueberry II

Postharvest & Storage

Tree Fruit II

Cut Flowers/Ornamentals

4 - 6 p.m.

Trade Show

4:45 - 5:45 p.m.

Farmer-to-Farmer: New & Old Insects; Options for Organic Controls

Farmer-to-Farmer: Washing Station Tips & Tricks

6 - 7:30 p.m.

Social Mixer & Awards Program

Thursday, December 19

8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Trade Show

9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Sweet Potatoes


Strawberry I

Transplant Production

Viticulture I

12 - 1 p.m.


12:45 - 1:45 p.m.

Farmer-to-Farmer: Organic Disease Control

Farmer-to-Farmer: Irrigation for Quality Crops

2 - 4:30 p.m.

Brassicas & Leafy Greens


Strawberry II

Farm Decision-Making

Viticulture II

Photo by cwsillero/

History of the Conference

The idea for the original "New England Vegetable Growers Convention" was conceived by Alden Miller, Dom Marini, John Howell Jr. and Otho Wells at a Northeast Region American Society for Horticultural Science meeting at the University of Massachusetts in January 1978. It would be patterned after the New England Greenhouse Conference and be held in odd-numbered years while the greenhouse conference was held in even-numbered years. Additional planning took place at a gathering of New England extension vegetable specialists and agents in Worcester, Mass., in December 1978 to discuss individual state programs, research efforts, and the possibility of hosting a vegetable convention. Clark Nicklow (UMass) was "elected" as the first general chairman and exhibit manager because of his previous experience in the genesis of the Great Lakes Expo in Michigan. Otho Wells (University of New Hampshire) served as the first program chairman, Alden Miller (UMass) was in charge of publicity, and Richard Ashley (University of Connecticut) and Wilfred Erhardt (University of Maine) were registration co-chairmen. Other members of the steering committee included: Edward Bouton and Theodore Flanagan (University of Vermont); Perley Colby (UNH); Walter Laramie (University of Rhode Island); and John Howell Jr., Dominic Marini and Robert Precheur (UMass).

The New England Vegetable & Berry Growers' Association (NEV&BGA) agreed to back the convention financially in the event that it lost money. Any proceeds were to be split between the association and the steering committee, which used its share as seed money for the next convention.

The first convention was held December 11-13, 1979, at the Sheraton Inn (now the Holiday Inn), off Route 495 in Boxborough, Mass. It consisted of a general session, breakout sessions on specific topics, an evening banquet, proceedings, and a trade show with 78 exhibits. Over 1,000 people attended. The convention was held every other year through 1987.