Wisconsin Cranberry Research & Education Foundation: Purchase completed for new cranberry research station in Wisconsin
Contact(s): Katie Whitlock
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin – The Wisconsin Cranberry Research & Education Foundation (WCREF) today announced it has closed on the purchase of a 155-acre cranberry marsh that will become the site of a new, state-of-the-art, USDA-supported cranberry research station. The closing on the Jackson County, Wis. property is the culmination of years of work to develop a cranberry research station in Wisconsin, which is the world’s leading producer of the fruit.
The property, which was formerly owned by the Jim Bible family, was purchased through private contributions to a capital campaign, as well as Federal funds provided to the USDA Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) through the efforts of U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representative Sean Duffy, among others.
“We are thrilled to have completed the purchase of the site for our new cranberry research station. This was made possible through the support of our state Congressional leaders, as well as the USDA Agricultural Research Service, the Bible family and dozens of individuals who generously donated to our capital campaign,” said Bill Wolfe, president of the WCREF Board of Directors. “Now the real work begins, and we look forward to conducting research that will benefit current and future Wisconsin cranberry growers and the industry as a whole.”
The next phases of the project are to harvest the marsh’s existing cranberry crop yet this fall, with the proceeds helping offset operational costs, and to conduct renovations to outfit the site for researching capabilities. Once complete, the research station will feature experimental beds, researcher work space and a central location for field days, clinics, tradeshows and other educational efforts for the industry.
Research efforts, conducted by USDA ARS scientists and University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty, will begin in 2018 and will help develop and refine cranberry growing practices to improve crop yield and quality, support the industry’s economic sustainability, minimize environmental impacts, and best manage pests and disease to benefit a nearly $1 billion state industry that supports almost 4,000 Wisconsin jobs.
WCREF was established in 1999 by WSCGA to provide professional education to cranberry growers, develop a research facility for scientific research related to the horticulture of cranberries and to research and develop best management practices designed to minimize environmental impacts of cranberry production. The Foundation is registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a tax exempt 501(c) (3) charitable institution.