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Cherry Blossoms at dusk in early May
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Bill to name Cherry official state fruit being considered
Article by Amy Payne (Capital News Service) in the Leelanau Enterprise February 16, 2006
Farmers, industry officials and local lawmakers are supporting a new bill that would make the cherry the offical state fruit of Michigan. Michigan House Representatives and Senators are sponsoring the bill. Michigan is one of the nation's largest producers of cherries, producing on average 206 millions pounds of tart cherries a year.
Read Cherry could blossom as official state fruit.

Marketing Grant for Northern Michigan Cherry Farmers
Article by Bill O'Brien from the Record Eagle January 29, 2006
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that the US government will invest $100,000 with a group of local growers to expand the use of the Balaton cherry, native to Hungary. Shoreline Fruit Inc., a group of area cherry growers, received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's value-added producer program that helps farmers and growers bring products directly to consumers to encourage the sale of northwest Michigan-grown Balaton cherries. Balaton cherries are already popular with area vintners for making cherry wine, and growers said they want to expand to other areas, including dried cherry products and in cherry-based cheeses.
Read There's a new cherry in town: Federal grant will be used to push Balaton.

Warm spring makes life like a bowl of cherries for farmers
Article by Lindsay Vanhulle from the Record Eagle June 29, 2005
Local sweet cherries should be ready for eating, tasting and pit-spitting contests when the National Cherry Festival starts Saturday. Area farmers said their crop is slightly ahead of schedule due to warm spring weather. "The festival is starting early this year, but the early varieties should be ready," said Dennis Hoxsie, owner of Hoxsie's Farm Market in Acme. "I was just out in the orchard and ate a few, and you could do that right now."
Read the complete article.

Hard frost causes some damage to cherry trees
Article by Alan Campbell from The Leelanau Enterprise May 5, 2005
Cherry farmers had a restless sleep Wednesday night when a strong frost carpeted Leelanau’s low areas with an unwanted white covering. And some didn’t sleep at all. Greg Williams, who tends to 175 acres of tart and sweet cherry, apple, apricot and peach trees, was busy hauling a “frost dragon” through low areas in his orchards. "He's been up all night running the frost dragon machine,” reported a concerned Antoinette Williams, his wife, from the couple’s home on East Sullivan Road. Read the complete article.

National Cherry Festival Entertainment Announced
April 20, 2005
The TC Record-Eagle reports that the National Cherry Festival has announced its lineup for the 79th summer event, which runs July 2-9, 2005. While the Blue Angels will not appear, there will be an air show. Entertainment includes Little Feat, Three Men and a Tenor, Traverse City's Encore Society, Dierks Bentley, 1964 The Tribute, Eddie Money, John Waite and Gregg Rolie.
Read Organizers promise fabulous Cherry Festival, great entertainment in the Traverse City Record-Eagle

Cherry Festival Commemorative Print Selected
April 20, 2005
The Record-Eagle also reports that Cedar artist D. B. Henkel's cherry-themed watercolor "Still Life with Cherries" was selected as the 2005 National Cherry Festival's commemorative print. Those who wish to enter next year's contest must submit the art work by mid-June to the festival office at 109 Sixth St. in Traverse City.
Read Still Life with cherries is commemorative pick in the Traverse City Record-Eagle

New Cherry Science
April 1, 2005
Scientists from Lansing to London are abuzz at today's announcement regarding a new cherry finding by cherry researchers.
Read Stunning Cherry Discovery from the Leelanau News.

February is National Cherry Month!
February 1, 2005
Michigan is the largest producer of Montmorency tart cherries, growing 70-75% of the crop and Leelanau leads the way. The Cherry Marketing Institute has a lot of information available for educators and other folks regarding the history and present state of the cherry industry including growing research showing that antioxidants in tart cherries may relieve the pain of arthritis and gout and help fight cancer and heart disease. View cherry backgrounds, Leelanau cherry information and cherry links from Absolute Michigan.

Are cherries the new wonder fruit? Science suggests they're good for more than just pies
MSNBC Article by Bob Trott October 27th, 2004
For decades, cherries slid by on reputation only. The tangy little orbs of deliciousness have been credited with an array of health advantages, from soothing gout and arthritis to helping with a good night's sleep. Without hard data, though, such claims were dismissed as proverbial old wives' tales. Well, sometimes old wives know what they’re talking about. "It was always anecdotal, but it’s been reported so frequently, by so many different people, that you have to think there may be something to it," says Dr. Russell J. Reiter, professor of neuroendocrinology at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Read the entire article.

Tarts are down, but sweets double last year's cherry harvest
Article from MLive July 24th, 2004
The state's tart cherry production is down 6 percent from 2003, but the sweet cherry crop is expected to double last year's harvest. This year, northern Michigan farms are expected to produce an estimated 85 million pounds of tart cherries, the kind used for pie filling. They are also expected to produce more than half the projected statewide yield of 145 million, and over a third of the estimated national yield of 215 million pounds, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Read the complete article.

Cherries may be picked by health conscious
Article from The Flint Journal July 13th, 2004
A cocktail that is healthy and can block the morning-after effects of the booze? That is an implication that ex-Davison resident Lori Hall Steele leaves in her new, little, self-published paperback, "Sweet & Snappy Cherry Drinks". It could be that by the time the first printing is exhausted, research could further bolster both claims for cherries, particularly the tart variety. Read the complete article.

Growing uses for cherries include bath, body
Article from The Record Eagle July 7th, 2004
Sure, cherries taste good. And the anti-inflammatory agents of the tart fruit may relieve the pain of arthritis better than aspirin or Ibuprofen. But cherry facials? Cherry pedicures? Cherry hydrobaths? Read the complete article.

Tarts to help make up for sweet cherry woes
Article from The Record Eagle July 23rd, 2003
Local farmers hope Tarts help make up for poor sweet cherry crop. Read the complete article.

Cherry crop already is looking bad
Article from The Record Eagle March 21st, 2003
A recent spike in the temperature could have a severe impact on northwest Michigan's sweet cherry crop. Read the complete article.

Cherry Industry gets $365,000 in grants
Article from The Record Eagle September 25th, 2002
The cherry industry received more than $365,000 in federally-funded state grants for programs designed to help boost the industry. Read the complete article.

Cherry yield to dip down 95 percent
Article by Lori Hall Steele from The Record Eagle July 2nd, 2002
Michigan's tart cherry yield is expected to be 95 percent less than last year's, the USDA estimated Monday, and federal officials are now considering declaring the state eligible for crop disaster aid. Read the complete article.

Tart crop worst in 50 years
Article by Amy Hubbell from The Leelanau Enterprise June 20, 2002
The year 2002 will likely go down in history as the year without a cherry harvest, at least for tart cherries. Growers and those in the industry estimate a tart cherry crop of only 5 to 10 percent of the normal crop, posing the question of whether or not to harvest. ?We knew it was going to be disastrous?but in the last 10 days, we?ve seen it?s much worse than any of us imagined,? said Jim Nugent, director of the Northwest Horticultural Research Station in Bingham Township. Read the complete article.

Cherry Steak to debut in Traverse City
June 18th, 2002
First it was cherry pecan sausage. Then, cherry hamburger. Now, Leelanau County butcher Ray Pleva has gone where no butcher has gone before, mixing cherries into a new chopped steak product. The new Rite Bite Steak, produced by Advance Foods of Enid, Okla., will debut Thursday in Traverse City. Read the Record Eagle article for more information.

Cattle cherries Local fruit to supplement barnyard feed
January 18, 2001
The name Ray Pleva is synonymous with cherries in beef. But Pleva, whose "Plevalean" is now a favorite in dishes in school cafeterias across the nation, wants to go one step further. If cherries are good in beef, why wouldn?t they be good to feed beef? Read the Leelanau Enterprise article for more information.

Cherry Crop 2000
September 5, 2000
The National marketing order will prevent state cherry growers from selling 43 to 45% of 2000 cherry crop. Read the Record Eagle article for more information.

New tart cherry variety offers choices
July 14, 2000. For more info contact Bob Boehm at 800-292-2680, ext. 2023
Michigan cherry growers have discovered the perfect tart cherry - bigger, firmer, darker and sweeter. This year marks the first major production year for the new Balaton cherry, which promises to meet consumer demands and create additional markets for cherry growers.

"It is a superior cherry for juice - the primary use of tart cherries," explained Phil Korson, president of the Cherry Marketing Institute in Michigan. "And, because of its deep red pigment, it won't require red coloring for pie fillings." Its increased sweetness over the more traditional Montmorency variety requires fewer pounds to make a gallon of concentrate. "And again, its vibrant color will also make it more appealing," Korson said.

Following is the latest research information on the health benefits of tart cherries:
  • The same chemicals that give tart cherries their color may relieve pain better than aspirin and ibuprofen.
  • Cherries may provide antioxidant protection comparable to commercially available supplements, such as vitamin E and vitamin C.
  • Eating about 20 tart cherries per day could reduce inflammatory pain and benefit the consumer with antioxidant protection.
  • Twenty tart cherries contain 12 to 25 milligrams of active antioxidant compounds.
  • If eating a bowl of cherries isn't always practical, a cherry pill, made from tart cherries, may be available in the future.
For more information about the Balaton variety or other research on cherries at Michigan State University, call Iezzoni at (517) 355-3505.

State Burger
May 31, 2000
There is a push on to make the cherry burger our state burger. Area Representative Jason Allen is requesting public comments regarding the burgers. You can email him at or write him at Box 30014, State Capitol Building, Lansing, MI 48909.

Cherry Marketing Order
Reported by The Michigan Farm Radio Network March 9,2000
A petition is being considered to ammend the Federal Cherry Marketing Order to restrict the amount of tart cherries every one of nine US districts can release to the market in years of oversupply. Currently, the order only restricts production in distrits that produce over 15 million pounds. US cherry production is consistently above consumption levels with (on average) about 308 million pounds produced with a usage of 285 million pounds. Click here to read the entire report.

Inauspicious start pays off for Sutherland
Article by Chris Olson from The Leelanau Enterprise January 27, 2000
Robert Sutherland, founder and owner of Cherry Republic, Inc., of Glen Arbor, for his efforts in promoting the cherry industry and for creating cherry products, has received the "Very Cherry" promotion award from the National Cherry Festival Committee. Read the entire article.

Cherry growers dispute practice
Article by Cari Noga from The Traverse City Record Eagle January 26, 2000
Too many tart cherries nationwide sour the selling price, but Michigan growers say they shouldn't be barred from selling some of their crop while Wisconsin growers can sell all. That's the situation now under the cherry industry's marketing order, which attempts to stabilize prices by controlling supply. Michigan growers don't think it's fair and they're trying to change it. "We're trying to get an even playing field for everybody," said Rob Manigold, president of the Grand Traverse Area Fruit Growers Council. Read the entire article!

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