MAFVC 2021 Virtual Poster Session and Competition

The Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention will be hosting a virtual poster session in 2021. This poster session will be open to faculty and students with academic posters relating to any of the main convention themes: vegetables, small fruit, tree fruit, and marketing. A description of poster formatting rules and competition judging criteria may be found below.

In addition to the above, the Young Grower Alliance is sponsoring a competition for graduate students to encourage participation in this poster session. An independent committee of academics and industry professionals will vote on poster submissions and a $100 gift card will be awarded to the student with the best poster. A second place $50 gift card will also be presented.

Because posters are best when the authors are present to explain and interact with their audience, authors are urged to record and upload to YouTube a short description of the poster and their work. The YouTube recording should consist of at least an audio track that provides a short (less than 4 minutes) outline of the research shown on the poster. An accompanying video track is permissible but not required. A link to each recording will be available adjacent to the corresponding entry on the convention website. The poster is the primary focus of this session, however.

For professionals with State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania poster presentation requirements as part of their grants, this poster session will fulfill those requirements.

Posters should be submitted to Don Seifrit ( using this Qualtrics survey ( Graduate students wishing to enter the poster competition MUST indicate that they are submitting a poster for the competition when submitting their entries.

If you have any problems accessing the survey link or any other questions regarding the poster session, please contact Don Seifrit at or 484-335-2090.

Poster Session Rules

To be accepted into the poster session and to be eligible for the competition, posters must meet the following guidelines.

  • Posters are due no later than 5:00 PM (17:00:00) on January 28, 2021.
  • Posters should be designed as if they were to be printed and pinned to a board.
    • Submissions must not exceed 48 inches × 48 inches.
    • Authors are free to utilize smaller sizes and orientations, e.g. 36” × 48” or 48” × 36”.
  • Posters must be submitted in PDF form.
    • Please convert submissions to PDF prior to uploading.
    • PowerPoint, Publisher, Illustrator, etc., files will not be accepted.
  • The maximum file size is 100 MB.
    • This is a hard limit; posters over this size will be rejected by the submission software.
    • To reduce file sizes, use a PDF optimizer such as found within Adobe Acrobat. Or replace images with those that are 300dpi or lower and which are compressed.
    • If it is impossible to meet the 100 MB size limitation without gross distortions in image display quality, please contact Don Seifrit at for instructions on how to proceed.
  • Posters will be displayed on the convention website no later than February 8th.

Competition Judging Guidelines

The competition is open to graduate and undergraduate students only. Professionals (e.g. Extension faculty or educators) are ineligible to compete for the prizes.

The poster will be judged by a panel of three University faculty/staff and two industry professionals (growers or industry-affiliated professionals) of stature.  Judging will be based on appropriate content, how well the poster communicates the impact of the research to the industry, and how well-designed the poster is visually.

Specifically, judges will be considering the following:

  • Content:
    • The poster content must relate to one of the major themes of the convention.
    • The content must reference active research or research concluded since the last Mid-Atlantic Fruit & Vegetable Convention in 2020.
  • Communication:
    • The abstract should accurately summarize the status of this research.
    • The research hypothesis or objectives of the project should be easily identifiable and comprehensible.
    • Similarly, method descriptions, data analysis, and conclusions (or current status of the research) should be described sufficiently to communicate the findings and its importance to the industry.
    • While the poster is considered to be an academic document, posters that address the content in a manner appropriate for an experienced member of the industry to readily comprehend its impact will be awarded higher marks.
  • Design:
    • Figures and tables used for illustration should clearly relate to the content and provide additional or supporting information, not merely to improve aesthetics.
    • The layout and design of the poster should be consistent and easy to follow, leading the viewer from hypothesis to conclusion (or current status) visually as well as in written form.
    • The content should be free from spelling errors, typos, or other proofreading mistakes such as references to absent figures or tables.

Poster competition winners will be announced in the March PA Fruit News and the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Update.