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County Executive's Office

Oregon Farm Receives Dane County Agricultural Grant to Grow, Market Healthy Berry

January 26, 2009
Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
County Executive

For Immediate Release                            

Carandale Farms to See if Aronia can be Profitable Cash Crop

County Executive Kathleen Falk announced today an Oregon farm that wants to start growing a berry known for a wide range of health benefits, will receive a county grant to help the new start-up project.

Carandale Farms in Oregon will receive a Dane County Ag Enterprise grant to assist with its efforts in growing and marketing Aronia, also known as Chokeberry.  The $10,000 county grant will help determine the feasibility of Aronia being a new cash crop for growers in the area. 

“Dane County’s agricultural economy is so vibrant because our visionary, innovative farmers keep trying these new products and exploring new markets to sell them,” Falk said.  “Success with this new project will mean more income for Dane County’s innovative growers.”               

Falk noted the Aronia berry has anxioxidants that scientists feel can help reduce the risk of everything from heart disease to colorectal cancer.  Other medical studies have also shown the berry may benefit those with chronic inflammation, ulcers, or even liver failure.  In addition, the berries are high in Vitamin C.

Aronia berries can be used to make wine or jam and also as flavoring or colorant for drinks and yogurts.

Aronia grows on shrubs and is most typically found in swamps and woods in the eastern part of North America.

Falk created the Agricultural Enterprise Grant program to help Dane County’s farmers grow their businesses and bottom lines.  Agriculture accounts for $3-billion a year for Dane County’s economy.

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