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Environment

Oregon Cranberry Producers Seek to Grow Market

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Thanksgiving's the one day of the year that cranberries get a guaranteed spot at most tables across the U.S. But Oregon's south coast farmers are hoping to change that.

Oregon has about 2,900 acres of cranberries in production, most of it in Coos and Curry counties. The state ranks 4th nationally in production with a value of $11 million.

Theresa Yoshioka, a trade manager with the Oregon Department of Agriculture, wants to extend the reach of producers.

Yoshioka: "We want to help our growers here in Oregon because our cranberries are a little bit different. There are richer, more natural sugars in the cranberries when they are ripe and we want to be able to help our cranberry growers sell their product both locally and to markets in other parts of the world."

While visiting the south coast, Yoshioka says she tasted "value-added" cranberry products, such as chutney and a cranberry walnut encrusted cheddar cheese.

Now, it's about connecting growers with buyers like schools and other institutions.

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