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Kirtland Partnering to Offer Free Fruit Production Seminar

Kirtland’s Community Education Department, the Ogemaw County Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Works! are partnering to offer a free fruit production seminar on April 23 from 6-8 p.m. at the Quality Inn in West Branch, Mich.  The seminar will teach people how to master the gardening techniques for growing top quality fruit crops that thrive in the soil in this region of north central Michigan, including blueberries, juneberries and several new varieties of fruits growing in popularity.

Kirtland will offer a free fruit production seminar in West Branch on April 23

Kirtland will offer a free fruit production seminar in West Branch on April 23

The seminar, titled “Money Grows on Trees and Bushes,” is being presented by Van Buren County MSU Extension Small Fruit Educator Mark Longstroth.  Longstroth has an extensive background in agriculture and education.  He advises fruit growers on pest control and cultural practices to maintain healthy and profitable fruit plantings. His current focus is blueberries, cranberries and other small fruits. Longstroth has 35 years of experience in fruit production and has given numerous presentations on site selection, mineral nutrition, fertilization, cultural practices, and insect and disease control for fruit crops.

“Over the past 10 years, studies show a tremendous growth in the production and consumption of fruit crops,” said Clay Horton, Kirtland’s director of Community Education. “Thousands of people are starting to see the earning potential by growing a variety of fruit “cash crops”.”

“Mark is an expert in fruit propagation and understands the challenges we face in this environment.  He knows how to meet and overcome these challenges to create a successful crop production cycle.”

Longstroth earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Boise State University, a Master’s of Science degree from the University of Idaho in Plant Science and has a long career at Michigan State University.

More information on the Fruit Production in North Central Michigan Seminar is available by calling 989-275-5000, ext. 253.

Annually, more than 3,000 students attend a variety of occupational, skilled trades, two-year and transfer degree programs at Kirtland’s locations near Roscommon, Kirtland-Gaylord, Kirtland-West Branch and in Tawas.  Kirtland also offers a wide range of online courses and degrees, all of which can be completed from home.

To learn more about Kirtland’s veteran-friendly services, programs, advising, testing, financial aid and other services available to students, contact Michelle Devine, Admissions Coordinator, at 989-275-5000, ext. 284 or visit