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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Third Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Symposium
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Technology Transfer for Growers, Healthcare Providers, and Entrepreneurs


September 22-25, 2004


The 3rd Annual Symposium arranged by Mountain State University’s Medicinal Botanical Program and USDA-ARS Appalachian Farming Systems Research Center focused on growing medicinal plants, making products and marketing, and the application of medicinal and aromatic plants in health care. Emphasis was placed on plants that grow, or can be grown, in the Appalachian region.


The well-attended Symposium offered a unique setting for academicians, researchers, growers, healthcare providers, and entrepreneurs to exchange information in both formal and informal settings. The success of the Symposium prompted one attendee to write “I just want to congratulate you on putting together one of the best conferences I have ever attended. In the past 28 years I have gone to many, many conferences but this one was special. The program was superb, the workshops were excellent, and the organizational details were flawless” … “One of the most important aspects of an event like this is the interaction among participants, speakers and vendors. I am delighted to have had the opportunity to interact with these people and I anticipate a great deal of future collaboration as a result.”


Symposium Activities:


            Researcher-Producer Forum

                        Seed Germination and Plant Propagation

            Lecture Sessions

                        Fundamentals of Ginseng Production

                        Herbal Approaches in Healthcare (Menopause and High Cholesterol)

                        Business Strategies and products

                        Legal Issues Concerning Wildcrafting and Cultivation

                        Growing Medicinal Plants (Ecological Requirements, Disease and Pest

                                    Management, Environmental Impacts on Plant Chemical



                        Propagation of Herbs

                        Marketing Strategies

                        Regulatory Requirements for Dietary Supplements

                        Herbal Culinary Products

                        Herbal Hygiene Products

                        Mushroom Cultivation

                        Business Plans

            Research Poster Sessions

            Medicinal Plant garden and Trail Walks

            Herbal Tea Tasting

            Chevon Sampling

Attendees included producers, researchers, healthcare providers, business and marketing experts, extension personnel, and entrepreneurs representing government facilities, universities, and private enterprises across the U.S. and Canada.

  Speaker in conference room

Speakers for opening session

The opening session of the symposium concerned fundamentals of ginseng production and featured Extension personnel from West Virginia (Kanawha County, David Cooke (left), and New York (Greene County), Bob Beyfuss (right), and Fred Hays, Director of the Center for Sustainable Resources, Inc., Elkview, West Virginia.

Dr. Ken Turner, AFSRC Animal Scientist, described investigations on plant materials for control of gastrointestinal parasites in meat goats being conducted by the research team he leads. Meat goats are a relatively new component of the livestock industry in Appalachia and gastrointestinal parasites are one of the biggest problems faced by small ruminant producers.

Dr. Turner discusses meat goat research

Rachael and Mike Moran discuss marketing goat

Goat producers, Rachel and Mike Moran (Cedar Dawn Farm, Alderson, West Virginia) talked about producing and marketing high quality goat using forage-based systems.

Executive Chef Michele Stalnaker, Director of the Mountain State University Culinary Arts Program, spoke on the properties and health benefits of goat meat and contributions of various culinary herbs to meat taste and appeal. Chef Michele, with her culinary arts students, prepared a dinner entrée to introduce the students and symposium participants to chevon (goat meat).

Chef Michelle Stalnaker with her dinner entree featuring chevon

Dr. Foster with presenters in the Researcher-Producer Forum

Symposium organizer, Dr. Joyce Foster (AFSRC Research Chemist, left), posed with presenters in the Researcher-Producer Forum on Seed Germination and Propagation of Native Forest Plants: (L to R) Ed Fletcher (Strategic Sourcing, Inc., Banner Elk, NC), Dr. Jeanine Davis (NC State Univ., Mountain Horticultural Crops and Extension Center, Fletcher, NC), Richo Cech (Horizon Herbs, LLC, Williams, OR), David Cooke (WV Univ. – Kanawha County Extension), and producers Peter Borchard (Companion Plants, Athens, OH) and Chris Burdette (Shady Oaks Farm, Poca, WV)

Symposium participants toured the AFSRC medicinal plants trail and research plot area and the Mountain State University medicinal plant garden which featured theme beds for female health, male health, immune system, cardiovascular system, digestive system, nervous system, skin and liver.

Participants touring medicinal Plants trail and research plots

Participants touring medicinal Plants trail and research plots

Dean Myles discusses rescue of Appalachian medicinal plants

Mountain State University collaborator and former AFSRC student intern, Dean Myles, discussed rescue of Appalachian medicinal plants from mining, timbering, and construction sites in southern West Virginia.

AFSRC Plant Physiologist William Clapham, with John Cancelarich (Regent Associates, Presque Isle, ME), spoke on “How to Recognize Potential Niche Markets, Develop Products and Market Them Successfully” and conducted a market simulation game during a conference workshop.

Dr. Clapham discusses niche markets

Exhibit room

A poster session allowed AFSRC scientists to communicate objectives and accomplishments of their medicinal plants research and highlight the 50th Anniversary of the Agricultural Research Service.

Dr. Hassan Amjad, M.D. (Beckley, WV) conducted a guided taste to the health benefits of herbal teas.

Dr. Hassan conducts a guided tea tasting

Vendor table showing publications, plants and value-added products

Vendors offered publications, potted plants, and value-added products.

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Last Modified: 11/14/2005
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