The Cherry Marketing Institute (CMI) received the 2018 Key Partner Award from Michigan State University (MSU) Extension on Oct. 16 at the organization’s annual conference in Lansing, Michigan.
The Key Partner Award recognizes those who have made significant contributions to supporting and promoting MSU Extension programs. CMI was chosen for their efforts to help Extension respond to emerging Michigan cherry industry needs. Michigan grows 75 percent of tart cherries and 20 percent of sweet cherries in the United States and ranks number 1 for tart cherry production.
“CMI has championed issues that affect Michigan farmers and are the link that has helped shape important agriculture policy,” said Nikki Rothwell, Extension specialist and coordinator of the Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Center, who nominated CMI for the award.
CMI has played a significant role in providing funding sources to support MSU Extension activities and helping to establish the Michigan Tree Fruit Commission, a program that collects funds from Michigan cherry growers to support production research. These funds have been key for MSU employees to conduct timely research that addresses critical issues in Michigan cherry production.
We would not be in this business today if it were not for the strong partnership the industry has with MSU,” said Phil Korson, president of the CMI. “The issues today are more complex than ever before and because we are in a global market, the production challenges are more intense. I really believe that the need for research and Extension programs is more important than ever. I am really proud of the fruit team that we have in place and what the future holds for our growers.”