Release from the University of Massachusetts
UMass President Robert Caret and Senate President Therese Murray met with students, researchers and growers today at the University of Massachusetts Cranberry Station. The visit to the world-renown cranberry research station was part of the UMass President’s statewide bus tour to recognize 150 years of UMass academic excellence and economic contributions.
“I’m thrilled to be here today with the Senate President to tour this magnificent facility that is such an important part of the economy, character and tradition of our state,” said President Caret. “I commend Senate President Murray for her tremendous leadership and long-standing support of this important research station and for the critical advocacy role she plays on behalf of the Massachusetts cranberry industry. Massachusetts is the second largest producer of cranberries in the United States because of the work of the growers and our fine local companies, but also because it has such a staunch friend and supporter in Senate President Murray. The University of Massachusetts and the cranberry industry benefit from her tireless work.”
The visit, hosted by UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy, included a stop at the annual cranberry harvest currently underway, highlights from successful hydro-research at the station, and a discussion of the challenges and opportunities currently facing cranberry growers. The UMass Cranberry Station, a UMass Amherst research and service center, is internationally-recognized for its research and outreach programs on cranberry culture. Massachusetts ranks second in the nation in cranberry output, producing 2.3 million of the nation’s 7.7 million barrels of cranberries in 2011. Wisconsin was the nation’s leader, producing 4.4 million barrels.
“The cranberry industry is an important cultural and economic presence on Cape Cod and in southeastern Massachusetts,” Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) said. “When we talk about economic development and encouraging new enterprises, we must also recognize traditional industries that are essential building blocks in the foundation of our economy. That’s why I will continue to work with the cranberry growers on adapting to our ever-changing economy and finding new and creative ways to fortify this industry. We have an obligation to generations of growers to ensure that our cranberry industry will continue to lead the nation and be here for generations to come.”
Located in Wareham, the Cranberry Station is a UMass Amherst outreach and research center whose mission is to maintain and enhance the economic viability of the Massachusetts cranberry industry through research, outreach, economic development support and protection of the environment.
The facility works with more than 400 growers producing more than 25 percent of the nation's cranberry supply. In addition, the cranberry industry generates nearly 5,500 jobs and contributes more than $200 million to the Massachusetts economy.
The visit was part of a four-day, 500-mile UMass bus tour that includes stops at alumni start-up companies, business incubators, UMass research centers and other key university landmarks across the Commonwealth.
The tour, highlighting 150 years of UMass academic excellence and economic contributions, featured stops at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke, the UMass Gloucester Marine Research Station, the UMass Cranberry Station in Wareham and UMass Dartmouth’s MBA program at Cape Cod Community College.
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