Breakout Session C

Explore the Economic Opportunities and Health Benefits of the Black Walnuts (Juglans nigra), American Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) and Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)
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The black walnuts (Juglans nigra), American elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) and pawpaw (Asimina triloba) are among rapidly emerging new perennial non-timer forest products for the agroforestry systems in the U.S. Missouri has been one of the leading producers for production of these specialty crops. The aim of this project is to explore the novel uses of these specialty crops and their byproducts for the industries by systematically examining their health-promoting compounds. The specific objectives of the study include: 1) conduct scientific research in characterizing the health-promoting compounds in these specialty crops and its byproducts (juices, stem barks, leaves, fruits, and root extracts) through modern mass spectrometry, global metabolomic analysis and high-throughput screening bioassay protocol, 2) conduct a market research to identify potential uses and formulation of the identified health-promoting compounds from elderberry and byproducts for cosmetic, personal care products and pharmaceutical industries; and 3) examine the niche market of the identified value-added products. We have identified more than 143 bioactive phenolics which have been previously reported as bioactive agents that are important to human health. The anti-microbial, antioxidant, and anti-tumor properties of each compounds have been examined using high throughput screening assays. The anti-inflammatory properties of the extracts have been assessed in the human pro-monocytic cell line by evaluating the effects of the extracts on the expression of 13 human inflammatory cytokines/chemokines. A market guide has been compiled to provide information on health-promoting compounds from the plant materials and their potential uses in producing value-added products in the industries. The findings will increase the overall incomes of the chain production and benefit all the participants involved in the supply chain of specialty crops in agroforestry operations.

Chung-Ho Lin, MU Center for Agroforestry, University of Missouri

Additional authors:
Chung-Ho Lin; Van Ho; Danh Vu, Phuc Vo, Efrat Novianus; Anuradha Roy; Zhentian Lei; Lloyd Sumner; Namrita Lall; Andrew L. Thomas; Zhen Cai; Michael Gold

Current State of the Chestnut Industry in the Eastern US
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Thousands of years of selection by farmers has created diverse chestnut cultivars suitable for commercial production. The first hybrid chestnuts were planted in the eastern US in 1773. Since that time many people have worked to adapt chestnuts to the eastern US and to develop protocols for managing chestnut orchards. This work has resulted in different approaches for selecting trees and managing orchards. A diverse network of farmers across the eastern US are growing a large variety of chestnut trees in orchards that range in size from under an acre to 160 acres. Longstanding and recent support from land grant universities the Savanna Institute and other organizations has helped to grow the industry and it is gaining momentum as more people understand the many benefits of growing chestnuts and commit to planting orchards. The primary challenges and opportunities facing the chestnut industry will be discussed along with updates on new companies and proposals that are being developed to increase the scale, viability, and geographic scope of the industry.

Bill Davison, Program Manager Tree Crop Commercialization, Savanna Institute

Elderberries in Agroforestry Applications
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Elderberries are gaining interest as a perennial crop with a strong and growing market potential. They can be grown in a variety of styles and serve within integrated systems as well as on their own as an orchard crop. The Savanna Institute has developed a grower guide and is networking with other regional farmers and researchers to expand the opportunity and shared knowledge. This system will examine the current state of elderberries and the research efforts underway to expand the marketplace as well as basics on their cultivation.

David Bruce, Program Manager Tree Crop Commercialization, Savanna Institute

Indiana’s commercial tree nut value chains: Status and opportunities
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This session will look at the state of Indiana’s value chains for chestnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts. Nine months into a systematic assessment to learn from Indiana growers and other Indiana stakeholders in tree nuts, this session will offer preliminary findings from an Indiana University / Indiana State Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant, titled Indiana Tree Nuts: Building Supply Chains for Indiana Grown Chestnut, Hazelnut, Pecan, and Walnut. The study focuses on activity within Indiana as well as the inspiring nut communities of our neighboring states. Presentation and Q&A will focus on patterns, takeaways, challenges/opportunities, and next steps to build Indiana’s food tree landscapes and markets for Indiana-grown nuts.

Julia Valliant, Indiana University Sustainable Food Systems Science
Olivia Shoemaker, Indiana University Sustainable Food Systems Science


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