Midwest Mint Growers to meet in Indiana

February 8, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Midwest mint growers will gather this month for their annual meeting in Plymouth, Ind., to receive updated information on a variety of topics related to production and use of the specialty crop.

The meeting of the Midwest Mint Growers will be Feb. 23 and 24 at Swan Lake Resort. It is sponsored by Purdue University and the Indiana Mint Market Development and Research Council.

"This two-day meeting is a great opportunity for mint growers to hear from those who deal with mint oil daily on the industry side and also from researchers at both Purdue and Wisconsin who seek to address production challenges for this economically important but niche crop," said Jerry Fankhauser, a meeting organizer and director of Purdue Agricultural Centers.

Mint is grown for the oils produced in the plant's leaves and stems. Peppermint and spearmint oils are widely used to flavor chewing gum, candy, pharmaceuticals, toothpaste and other oral hygiene products. 

The first day's program, which includes an evening banquet, will begin at 1 p.m. EST with a welcoming by Dan Gumz, president of the council. The conference will conclude following state grower meetings that begin at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 24.

Among topics to be discussed over the two days are the use of U.S. mint oil; an outlook for oil buyers; pest, disease and weed management updates; food safety in mint production; and how phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña affect weather in the Midwest.

Presenters are:

* Sonya Johnson, senior principal tech scientist at the W.R. Wrigley Jr. Co. Global Innovation Center.

* Sam Lashley, a senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service in northern Indiana.

* From Purdue University, in addition to Fankhauser: Corinne Alexander, associate professor of agricultural economics; Fred Whitford, coordinator of Purdue Pesticide Programs; and Steve Weller, professor of horticulture and landscape architecture.

* Rocky Lundy, executive director of the Mint Industry Research Council.

* A.J. Todd, vice president of A.M. Todd Co.

* Macey Wessels, a consultant with I.P. Callison & Sons.

* From the University of Wisconsin: A.J. Bussan, professor of horticulture; Amanda Gevens, assistant professor of plant pathology; and Russ Groves, assistant professor of entomology.

Program details and a registration form were mailed to members. Registration before Feb. 20 is $40 per person and $45 after that date.

For more information about the meeting, contact Fankhauser at 765-494-8368, fankhaus@purdue.edu.

Writer: Keith Robinson, 765-494-2722, robins89@purdue.edu

Source: Jerry Fankhauser, 765-494-8368, fankhaus@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
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