Apr 29, 2011
Cranberry growers have a new online network

North American cranberry growers have a new resource for gathering information. The North American Cranberry Growers Network (NACGN) offers growers access to an online community of growers and experts who share ideas and tips for growing and marketing cranberries.

The website and growers’ forum is the work of Chris Utke, a Tomah, Wis., grower with Tribute Farms. He grew up on a 100 acre cranberry operation that his dad managed for 47 years. He planted his first 10 acres of vines in 1997, and an additional 12 acres in 2008.

The idea behind the website is to try and give cranberry growers across North America a common place to go on the Internet to get and give information, and not from just a local perspective. Growers seldom get an opportunity to talk to a grower from a different region, Utke said.

“We, as growers, are all striving for the same thing: quality fruit and a stable market with demand,” he said. “In order to achieve and maintain those things, growers need to become more unified and, as they say, ‘all on the same page.’”

The site has links to cranberry resources and a forum section broken into regions, as well as a common area for broad discussions. The intent of the forum is to give growers a place to help each other and share information, as well as get to know each other.

Utke hopes that after visiting the site, growers will tell others about it.

“Being from a rural area, it’s difficult for us to have the resources to get the word out that the site is available,” he said. “The site is free, and a user simply has to register in order to post and open attachments – and that is simply to help us know how many users are there. We are hoping it will support itself through advertising banners and supplier ads. It is not intended to make money and will maintain a nonprofit status.”

For more information, visit the NACGN website.

By Derrek Sigler





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