Thursday, July 22, 2010

Funding to Help Study and Build Elderberry Market in MO

Source: Missouri Beginning Farming

The University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry has been awarded a grant from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE), "Developing Successful Marketing Strategies for Elderberry Growers and Value-Added Processors: A Model for Specialty Crop Development in the U.S. Midwest."

The grant will use an integrated approach to contribute to the creation and development of an elderberry regional industry as a model for specialty crop development in the Midwest U.S., said project director and UMCA associate director, Mike Gold.

The project will increase knowledge about the elderberry market in the region. An elderberry financial decision tool will be developed to support producer decision making for on-farm and associated enterprise opportunities. A comprehensive outreach program will disseminate results of this project.

Only 9 percent of the initial pre-proposal submissions were ultimately funded by the North Central Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education Program.

"All funding is very competitive these days," Gold said. "We are excited to have received this award and are ready to move ahead with our elderberry project to carry the industry forward."

In addition to Gold, key players in the grant include Ina Cernusca, UMCA marketing specialist; Francisco Aguilar, assistant professor of forest economics, MU Forestry Department; Larry Godsey, UMCA economist; Elizabeth Barham, rural sociologist, University of Arkansas Agricultural Economics Department; John Brewer, president and co-founder of Wyldewood Cellars Winery; Terry Durham, organic farmer, Eridu Farm, Hartsburg, Mo.; Andrew L. Thomas, research assistant professor in horticulture, MU Southwest Research and Education Center; Patrick L. Byers, MU Extension, horticulture specialist; Julie Rhoads, UMCA event planner; Michelle Hall, UMCA senior information specialist; and Park Bay, agricultural lender and Vice President of Business Development, First National Bank & Trust (now Landmark Bank), Columbia, Mo.

No comments: