Last updated Monday 4 March 2019
Small fruit crops are knowledge and technology-intensive enterprises, and all the land grant universities in the southern region have their strengths and weaknesses with regard to expertise and information dissemination with these crops. It is far more cost effective to meet the demands for small fruit crop information and research with a regional approach that capitalizes on the individual strengths of each cooperating land grant university. This is the basic premise on which the Consortium is founded. It originally involved Clemson University, the University of Georgia, and North Carolina State University, and was initially established as the Southeastern Small Fruit Center in January 1999. In March 2000, the name was changed to the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium. The reason for the name change was to include all the Southern Universities not just those in the Southeast. In 2002 the University of Tennessee joined the consortium. Virginia Tech became a member in 2005, the University of Arkansas joined in 2008, LSU AgCenter joined in 2017, Auburn University joined in 2018, and Mississippi State University joined in 2019.
The long term mission of the Consortium is envisioned to involve collaborative efforts at various sites across the region between small fruit growers and grower organizations, industries and service organizations allied with and/or serving small fruit growers, agricultural extension programs and research stations working together to enhance the development of the small fruit industries in the region.
The Consortium is administered by a Steering Committee involving one administrator, two faculty members and one small fruit grower organization officer or grower representative from each state involved. The administrators on the Steering Committee also make up the Executive Committee of the Consortium. The chair of the Steering Committee is a faculty member from one of the member institutions. The current chair is Wayne Mitchem, NC State University. Budgetary and administrative services for the Consortium are housed at NC State University. The Steering Committee meets officially each year to plan SRSFC activities for the coming year.
Membership in the Consortium is open to all Land Grant Institutions in the Southern Region of the U.S. The potential benefits of membership are outlined in the rationale and mission statements above, and realized benefits to present members appears in the activities section given in the link under membership dues.
Annual dues are $35,000 for each of the six present member institutions.
For more information on membership or activities of the Consortium, please contact:
Wayne Mitchem, Chairperson, Steering Committee
110B Patterson Hall
NC State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7601