North American Chestnut Farm Workshop

Date: August 30, 2012 - September 2, 2012
Location: Holiday Inn Jackson NW, 2696 Bob McClain Dr, Jackson, MI 49202
Contact: Dennis Fulbright or (517) 819-1043

The event will be hosted by the Rogers Reserve, a Michigan State University (MSU) AgBioResearch research center dedicated to the breeding, production and harvesting of edible chestnuts in North America. A meeting of this magnitude has not been held in the United States since 1992.

The conference will open with a welcome reception and travelogue featuring the countries represented by the guest speakers. Days two and three will include special presentations and awards, in addition to topic presentations delivered by researchers and growers hailing from as far away as China, Italy and Turkey and those representing various production regions of North America.

Speakers and topics confirmed to present at press time include:

  • Roger Blackwell, Michigan chestnut grower and cooperative president, on growing chestnuts in Michigan
  • Harvey Correia, California chestnut grower, on growing chestnuts in California
  • David English, Florida chestnut grower and cooperative president, on growing chestnuts in Florida
  • Chris Foster, Oregon organic chestnut grower, on bubble bark disease and growing chestnuts in Oregon
  • Dr. Dennis Fulbright, Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University, on cultivars in Michigan orchards and internal kernel breakdown
  • Dr. Mike Gold, associate director of the Department of Forestry at the University of Missouri, on growing chestnuts in Missouri
  • Dr. Daniel Guyer, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at Michigan State University, on harvesting chestnuts
  • Dr. Heather Kane, president of Chestnuts Australia, on the various chestnut organizations in Australia
  • John Kane, Australian chestnut grower and longtime industry supporter, on growing chestnuts in Australia
  • Qing Ling, assistant professor at the University of Science and Technology in China, on high intensity chestnut farming in China
  • Dr. Umit Serdar, Department of Horticulture at Ondokuz Mayis University in Turkey, on the horticultural characteristics of and growing chestnuts in Turkey
  • Professor Andrea Vannini, Italy, on chestnut pests and diseases in Europe and growing chestnuts in Italy

On the final day of the workshop, attendees can take an optional tour to see the MSU Clarksville Research Center, a chestnut orchard and a processing and receiving facility.

Cost: Members of the Chestnut Growers of America and the Midwest Nut Producers Council qualify for a discounted registration rate of $75 per person. Non-members will be charged a $100 per person registration fee. The companion registration fee is $50 per person. Children ages 10 to 15 will be charged a $30 per person registration fee; children younger than 10 are free, but must register for meal count. The fee to participate in the optional tour is $50 per person (bus transportation) or $45 per person (driving separately).

Registration for the North American Chestnut Farm Workshop and travel recommendations can be viewed online. The final days to register online is Aug. 22.

The registration fee includes the welcome reception on Aug. 30; breakfast, lunch and a barbeque dinner on both Aug. 31 and Sept. 1; breakfast on Sept. 2; attendance at all meetings; and snacks and coffee breaks. The same registration fee will be charged regardless if participant attends one day or all days of the workshop.

Hotel room reservations can be made by calling the hotel at (517) 789-9600. Specify that you are attending to North American Chestnut Workshop to receive conference rates. Reservations must be made prior to July 30 to qualify for conference rates.

The North American Chestnut Farm Workshop is being sponsored by the Ernie and Mabel Rogers Research Endowment at MSU, the Midwest Nut Producers Council and Chestnut Growers of America. It is being held immediately prior to 5th International Chestnut Symposium, scheduled for Sept. 4-8 at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV. Attendees must register for each conference separately.

For registration information, contact Betsy Braid at or (517) 353-3175 ext. 224.

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