2020 Winter Apple School

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Winter Apple School is approaching fast. If you plan to attend, register now to avoid the rush on event day. Also, exhibitor space is filling up quickly. Exhibitors need to call soon to reserve their space.

Winter Apple School is the signature apple meeting held in Western North Carolina for commercial apple growers and others interested in apple production. The program features a host of apple Extension Specialists and Researchers from NC State University as the core of the program. Each of these speakers brings a unique discussion of apples from their various disciplines.

This year, Winter Apple School will be held on February 5, 2020, at Blue Ridge Community College in the Technology Development and Education Center. The program will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with lunch included. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. with coffee and donuts available.

Growers from all around Western North Carolina as well as surrounding states such as SC, TN, and GA regularly attend this meeting. The team of NC State University apple speakers brings highlights and updates to the program relative to the various aspects of apple production including variety selection, thinning, nutrition, disease control, insect control, food safety updates and much, much more.

A highlight of this year’s program will be guest speaker Mark Boyer of Ridgetop Orchards in Fishertown, PA. Mark is the son of Dan Boyer, the founder of Ridgetop Orchards. Dan Boyer created Ridgetop Orchards close to the Chestnut Ridge land where he was raised. His father, Allan, had a passion for growing apples and Dan soon developed the same passion. In 1980, together with his wife, Lois, Dan started the orchards on 140 acres of prime ridge-top soil. This is where the name “Ridgetop” came from. Dan and Lois continued the Boyer family traditions of growing their premium fruits while raising their 3 children.

Today, Ridgetop Orchards consists of over 500 acres dotted with perfect lines of fruit trees. The “ridge” is one of the best sites for growing fruit in the state of Pennsylvania. The high elevation level, ranging from 1500’ – 1800’, promotes cool nights and helps discourage spring frosts, allowing for the best possible fruit coloring and sweetness.

Along with retail sales at The Porch Store, Ridgetop Orchards grows, packs & ships fruit for domestic and export sales. Their fruit is available at many major grocery chains throughout the United States and can be found as far away as South America!

Last year over 200 people attended Apple School. Between 35 and 40 exhibitors are expected in the trade show area at the meeting as well. These exhibitors help to sponsor the event and will also have exhibits where they can network with the growers who do business with them at their booths. The event would not be possible without these sponsors.

An annual highlight of the meeting is the awards presentation during the BRAG Annual Meeting. The Apple Grower of the Year, Friend of the Apple Grower and Lifetime Achievement Awards are all distinguished honors announced at that time.

The cost for attendance is only $35.00 for the entire day and that includes the cost of lunch as well as membership in the Blue Ridge Apple Growers Association for one year. What a bargain! Attendees who attend the entire program will receive two hours of pesticide credit.

Registration forms and payment may be mailed to BRAG at P.O. Box 578, Edneyville, NC 28727 or dropped off at the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Henderson County Center at 100 Jackson Park Drive, Hendersonville. Credit card payments can be accepted as well by contacting Ivy at 697-4891. Registration forms and exhibitor forms can be obtained by clicking on the appropriate link below and are also available at the office or we will be happy to send you one via email.

For a tentative agenda of the apple program, click on the appropriate link below.