The Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program (PVMRP) is a state-wide marketing order
The Program by law includes all growers in the state who grow vegetables for sale on one or more acres of land OR in 1,000 sq. ft. or more of greenhouse or high tunnel space OR who grow and sell $2,000 worth of vegetables.
that was established by a grower referendum,
The Program was established in 1988 by a grower referendum under the Agricultural Commodities Marketing Act. Grower referendums are conducted every five years to determine the growers’ continued support for the Program.
that is governed by a grower board,
The Program is governed by a board of twelve growers appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture from nominations submitted by growers. Four growers from each of the three regions of the state are appointed. In addition, a representative of sales agents required to collect the assessment and the Secretary of Agriculture also sit on the Board.
and that is funded by grower assessments.
The Program is funded by the annual assessments paid by the growers in the state. Each grower pays a basic assessment of $25.00 plus $1.50 for each acre of field vegetable production and each 1,000 square feet of greenhouse vegetable production beyond the initial five of these acreage and/or square-footage units (or 1.25% of gross sales of vegetables, whichever is LESS).
The Program's sole purpose is to serve the vegetable growers of Pennsylvania by promoting Pennsylvania-grown vegetables,
The Program provides growers with colorful point-of-purchase materials to identify Pennsylvania vegetables in the marketplace. For the last eleven years, the Program has celebrated August as Pennsylvania Produce Month and launched its own website for consumers at www.paveggies.org. In addition, an aggressive public relations effort has been undertaken each summer to get Pennsylvania vegetables featured in newspapers reaching millions of readers across the state. In the past, the Program has promoted Pennsylvania vegetables on billboards and radio stations across the state.
and funding practical vegetable production research.
The Program has contributed over $623,000 towards practical vegetable production research since its beginning. Independent university research is one of the keys to the success of American agriculture. As government support for the land-grant universities declines, they must depend more heavily on the agricultural industry for funding.
What vegetable crops are included?
All crops commonly termed vegetables, including but not limited to asparagus, beans (snap, dry and lima), beets, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collards, kale, mustard greens, kohlrabi, carrots, celery, corn (sweet, pop and ornamental), cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, horseradish, leeks, lettuce, muskmelons, watermelon, onions, parsley, parsnips, peas, peppers, pumpkins and squash (edible and decorative), gourds, radishes, rutabagas, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and turnips, are considered vegetables crops under the Program. White potatoes, mushrooms and small fruits like strawberries, brambles, blueberries or grapes are not included in the Program.
How is greenhouse area counted?
High tunnel production is considered greenhouse production. Only greenhouse or high tunnel space used to grow a vegetable crop to maturity (like tomato, pepper or cucumber fruit or lettuce) is counted. Space used to grow transplants for field use is not counted.
Is payment mandatory?
Yes. Department of Agriculture regulations require all growers who grow one or more acres of vegetables for sale (or 1,000 sq. ft. of more of greenhouse vegetables) to pay the annual assessment.
Is this same as the Vegetable Growers Association?
No, the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association (or PVGA) is the statewide trade association for vegetable, potato and berry growers where membership is purely voluntary. They focus on grower education events and resources as well as government affairs although they do cooperate with the Program to help fund vegetable research.
What do I get out of this Program?
Every grower has access to reports on the research funded by the Program enabling them to make use of the information gained by the projects. The program offers growers weekly IPM updates by mail, fax or email for tomatoes and sweet corn during the growing season. In addition each grower receives a credit of half their assessment payment up to $25 towards the purchase of point-of-purchase items for use in direct sales. And finally, each grower, whether they sell their produce retail or wholesale, benefits from the increased consumer awareness and acceptance of local Pennsylvania vegetables produced by the media publicity.
Why should growers pay for promotion when the state is doing so much?
The Program has worked closely with the state Department of Agriculture's produce promotion campaign to coordinate the efforts of both groups and received matching promotion grants from the Department for many years. However, since the Department's focus is promoting all agricultural products, it is important for the vegetable industry to specifically promote Pennsylvania vegetables. The Vegetable Marketing and Research Program established an annual "August is PA Produce Month" promotion to focus attention on local produce when most Pennsylvania vegetable crops are at their peak. In recent years, the Program has received grants from the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to help it promote local vegetables.
Who do I contact with questions?
Contact the Program's office at 717-694-3596 or firstname.lastname@example.org
2017 Board Members
Christopher Powell, Strasburg
Scott Hoffman, Northumberland
Kenneth Metrick, Butler
Russell Redding, Secretary of Agriculture, Harrisburg
Stephen Ganser, Kutztown
Christopher High, Ephrata
Harry Hopkins, Falls
Stephen Kistler, Orangeville
Joel Kosa, Ulysses
Joseph Mason, Lake City
David Miller, York
Laverne Nolt, Martinsburg
David Peters, Gardners
William Troxell, Executive Secretary