Jan 4, 2018Massachusetts Fruit Growers’ names first female president
Farming and apple growing were largely male-dominated in the region, but more women entering the arena have changed that and paved the way for the Massachusetts Fruit Growers’ Association (MFGA) to name a woman president for the first time.
According to a story by telegram.com of Worcester, Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Fruit Growers’ Association elected Joanne M. DiNardo of Sholan Farms president at its annual business meeting Dec. 13. Ms. DiNardo is also president of the Friends of Sholan Farms, where she manages staff and volunteers overseeing approximately 20 acres of apple orchard owned by the city of Leominster.
According to the story:
“Though women have served on MFGA’s board of directors, this is the first time a woman has headed the association, according to MFGA member Jon Clements, an extension educator at the UMass Cold Spring Orchard in Belchertown with more than 25 years experience in tree fruit production.
“I know (Ms. DiNardo) as extremely competent, well versed and an advocate of apple growing in Massachusetts and preserving open space,” Mr. Clements said. “In this day and age, gender difference is not what it used to be, although farming and apple growing were largely male-dominated. That is changing now and I think most apple growers view Joanne as just another grower.”
MFGA has 100 members, and dividends from its stock portfolio fund research and partial operation of the UMass Cold Spring Orchard, Mr. Clements explained. MFGA partners with the UMass Fruit Team to provide educational programming and demonstrations on plantings and research of interest to its members, he said. Additionally, MFGA advocates for legislative issues important to its members and is a member of the U.S. Apple Association, a national lobbying organization.
Ms. DiNardo said she is “humbled and honored” to be elected to the post.”
Photo above: Joanne DiNardo. Photo: Rick Cinclair