Roy D. Flanagan III, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, Virginia Beach

This year’s Mid-Atlantic Strawberry Programs will be held on February 27-28, 2023, in Virginia Beach, VA.

Starting in the late 1990’s Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent, Cal Schiemann realized that SE Virginia growers were not traveling to large strawberry-centric meetings. He also found that working strawberries as a topic in already existing local meetings was not impactful. So, in 1999 the first Virginia Beach Strawberry School was held. Over the years the meeting grew to a 2-day program, including a field walk program on the first day and Strawberry School on the second day. These events were held annually in Virginia Beach and became a largely attended meeting, growing well beyond the boundaries of Virginia. We renamed the program in approximately 2018 to Mid-Atlantic Strawberry Programs to better represent the scope of attendees, which regularly come from as far north as Pennsylvania and as far west as Ohio. The program now consists of three programs over the course of two days to pack as much relevant information as possible into our short time here with the growers.

All programs are offered at no cost to the growers, RSVP is requested.

Programs for 2023 are:

Strawberry Field Walk (Feb. 27, 2023, 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

An opportunity to join some of our region’s strawberry experts and growers from all over in the fields. The program and discussion will come from the situations seen in the fields and the questions from growers. We will visit two Virginia Beach Strawberry Farms. Exact locations and details TBD.

Evening Program (Feb. 27, 2023, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.)

Location: Creeds Ruritan Community Complex, 1057 Princess Anne Rd., Virginia Beach, VA 23457

Food, Fellowship, and Information sharing session.

Dinner will be provided. At this time no structured program is planned. I am a firm believer that growers enjoy and learn by conversing with other growers, the agents, specialists, and industry folks.  So, without a formal program, the plan is to firm up relationships, meet new folks, share information, and add more tools to all our toolboxes.

Strawberry School and Trade Show (Feb. 28, 2023, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Location: VB Advanced Technology Center, 1800 College Crescent, on the VB Tidewater Community College Campus. 

The Regional strawberry experts will provide us with information on disease ID and treatment options, variety selection, overall strawberry production considerations, a forecast for the 2023 crop, and more.  We will have ample time for attendees to visit with our awesome program sponsors about their products and services to make all operations grow and flourish.  The doors will open at 8 a.m. with the program beginning at 8:45 a.m. and ending at 3:30-4:00 p.m. A complimentary lunch is included for attendees of the program.

There will be an update from the Virginia Strawberry Association (soon to be Mid-Atlantic Strawberry Association) during their annual business meeting which will be held either at lunch time, or during the evening Meet and Greet Program – TBD.  As previously mentioned, there is no cost to attend these programs, but we do ask for an RSVP.  More details will be shared as the time draws closer.  To make sure you get the details later or for any questions, please email Roy Flanagan or Tammy Mas.

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