On January 13th 2015, growers from Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and even California attended the centennial Nut Growers Society Meeting at the LaSells Stewart Center at Oregon State University, with the highest attendance ever.
Growers shared new information, their experiences with new varieties, the milestones they have accomplished, and what the industry can expect the next 100 years.
Whether you are a processor or a grower, this is an exciting time to get involved with Oregon hazelnuts. The industry is growing rapidly, and there is an increasing need for information on orchard care, the market, and new varieties. We were excited to see such a large representation of new and potential growers.
Rich Birkemeier sat on a grower panel that shared their experiences with new varieties. All three growers saw success with their Jefferson, McDonald, and Wepster trees. The OSU breeding program has helped the industry grow by developing blight resistant varieties that growers can manage and help both the kernel and inshell markets.
Harry Lagerstedt, from Corvallis, received Grower of the Year for his help in establishing the Ennis variety, and other contributions to the industry. Joan Firestone passed the gavel to Leroy Kropf, of Harrisburg, our 2015 Nut Growers Society President.
Every year the Oregon hazelnut industry gets better and better. We are excited to see what new accomplishments we can achieve this year and new information we will share at the meeting in 2016.