The Midwest Aronia Association began unofficially in late summer 2008 in southwest Iowa. Iowa State University Extension personnel provided the means to connect persons interested in aronia. As this core group met during 2008 and 2009, the members realized that interest in aronia as a value-added crop was expanding throughout the Midwest region. Word spread that our group had been formed and people began contacting us for information about all aspects of aronia, including cultivar selection, planting techniques, growth maintenance, fertilization, picking, production, nutritional value, etc. We recognized a need for an association to provide information to all interested parties, and began the official organization for the association with development of the bylaws, filing of articles of incorporation, and election of officers in 2009.
The officers of the association have a wide range of experience in agriculture, business practices, education, grant writing and food technology. They have attended conferences on business development, aronia production, food entrepreneurship development, and various agriculture related workshops. Four members of the association were a core committee to develop pilot project curriculum for an Aronia Annie’s Group to be held for women growing and producing aronia.
The Midwest Aronia Association is a non-profit organization and has no connection to any commercial entity. Our sole purpose is to investigate, improve, and promote all aspects of aronia growing. We hope to empower our members by providing information from experts in the agricultural and marketing community. We aim to pursue grant opportunities to benefit our members.
Current members reside in California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota ,Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Ontario Canada, with approximately 200,000 aronia plantings. Since our members are across the U.S., we recognize the need to have regional activities such as field events, social gatherings, aronia wine tastings, etc.