Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

April 27, 2013

Ag Forum: Young growers go international

TRAVERSE CITY — Six young growers from northwest Michigan attended the International Tree Fruit Association conference last month in Boston, Mass.

The Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Foundation provided six scholarships of $1,000 each per participant to help these growers attend this important educational conference. The scholarships were provided through two sources of funding: NWMHRF’s Keep our Farmers Farming fundraising campaign, and a generous donation to the NWMHRF from Cherry Republic.

Both the Foundation Board and Bob Sutherland of Cherry Republic were pleased to see these funds used to expand the knowledge base of new farmers so new ideas and concepts can be brought back to the region. And this IFTA conference was certainly not short on innovation.

IFTA was established in 1958 and is the leading international organization that advances the adoption of intensive orchard systems. It was designed to promote understanding of the nature and use of Intensive Orchard Systems through dissemination of information and to expand the knowledge in this industry by encouraging continued research efforts.

The organization conducts an annual educational conference and publishes the conference proceedings and additional articles in the Compact Fruit Tree journal. IFTA also holds an annual orchard/short tour during the summer and sponsors other tree fruit study tours. Lastly, this group provides funding support for research projects through a newly established research fund.

The mission to be the leading organization to promote new orchard systems may sound like a big goal, and from the rigorous schedule in Boston, the efforts of IFTA did not go unnoticed. The meeting began on a Saturday with a pre-conference intensive workshop that addressed strategies for improving production practices, which included flowering, pollination, modeling and fruit set. On Sunday, participants hopped on a bus for a half-day sweet cherry and peach pruning workshop.

The official conference began Monday morning and was attended by more than 350 participants. On Tuesday, the group toured high-density apple and sweet cherry orchards throughout eastern Massachusetts, including the oldest continuously operating farm in the country. The conference convened again on Wednesday for a full day, followed by a three-day tour of fruit-growing operations in the Hudson Valley, N.Y.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot