Thursday, March 24, 2011

Midwest Aronia Association to Hold 1st Annual Conference

Source: Vinton Today

By Pattie Upmeyer, Benton County Extension

Midwest Aronia Association will hold their 1st Annual Conference, bringing together the largest gathering of aronia pioneer, growers, and producers in the United States, on April 8th & 9th, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Featuring speakers from the US and Poland, information will be presented on the science, growing, and marketing of the aronia berry. Recent research into the nutritional and healthful value of aronia melanocarpa indicates high levels of antioxidants, prompting regional, national, and world-wide interest in cultivation and consumption of the aronia berry.

The impressive line up of speakers includes Dr. Stanislaw Pluta, an Associate Professor at the Research Institute of Pomology and Floriculture in Poland who has been involved in fruit plant breeding at the institute since 1985 and has had extensive research work and educational experiences throughout a number of countries.

The MAA is pleased to introduce Dr. Pluta as the keynote speaker, and also welcomes Maury Wills, Bureau Chief of the Agriculture Diversification and Market Development Bureau of IDALS; Doug Stryuk, legal council and policy advisor to the Iowa Secretary of State; Dr. Jonathon Smith, PhD, founder/co-owner of Wisconsin-based Alpine Foods, a company that processes value-added fruits; Harlan Hamernick of Clarkson, NE, founder/past owner of Bluebird Nursery, Inc. and current owner of Wild Plums, a nursery specializing in rare and unusual woodies and the propogation of 'Superberries'; Andy Larson, ISU Extension Specialist in Small Farm Sustainability and coordinator for the Iowa SARE Professional Development Program; Joanna Skorzynska, co-owner of Firma Weremczuk, a Polish company that manufactures aronia berry harvesters used in Poland and other EU countries; and Tatania Emmick, Associate Scientist, and Jiang Hu, Regulatory Affairs, from Kemin Ind.

This event, open to MAA members and the public, is co-sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Mark your calendars for this rare and exciting educational and networking experience regarding the aronia berry. For more information, or to register for this limited seating event, please visit

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