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106th Annual Meeting of the NNGA

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

July 26, 2015 - July 29, 2015

You may scroll through the page to view all items in order or you may go directly to an item by clicking on the links below.

Things to Do and See | Registration | Special Events | CAP Activities | Meals | Lodging Parking

Emergencies | Technical Program & Field Trip | Cookies | Show and Tell | Auction

Exhibits | Group Photo | Travel/directions | Weather

entrance to Univ. of Wisconsin Lacrosse

The 106th annual meeting of the Northern Nut Growers Association will be held in La Crosse, Wisconsin on July 26th - 29th.

The meeting will be held in the Cartwright Center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Lodging is available on-campus in Reuter Hall or at the Radisson Hotel located approximately 1 mile from the Cartwright Center.

Discounted registration rates are available for NNGA members, students, and early registrations.

This year, the NNGA is partnering with UW-Extension, the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, and the Upper Midwest Hazelnut Development Initiative in organizing the 106th annual meeting. Wisconsin agriculture is known for its dairy farms and cranberry bogs, but diversity is the key to making Wisconsin agriculture so strong and nowhere is that diversity more evident than within the Driftless Region. The Driftless is the region surrounding the Mississippi River where Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois meet. Because it was not covered by the most recent glacial advance, the region has steeper hills and valleys and different soils and biota than the surrounding landscapes, and the land use is more diverse. Here in Wisconsin we are proud of our agriculture and proud of our innovative spirit, particularly when it comes to sustainable agriculture. Wisconsin is home to Organic Valley and more organic food producers than anywhere in the US. We have some of the best grass-fed dairy and beef producers making some world renowned cheese and sausage. When it comes to nut crops, growers in the Driftless Region are leading the way in developing perennial polycultures that provide food products and ecosystem protection. Wisconsin is also home to vast populations of wild American Hazelnut and a fledgling hazelnut industry is underway. We look forward to sharing these efforts with our guests!

In addition to the usual NNGA events, this year's meeting will feature technical sessions with a focus on perennial polycultures, hazelnuts, and the business of processing and marketing nuts. We'll also feature talks on a wide range of nut-growing topics. On Wednesday, we'll have the opportunity to see some of this amazing region. We'll see you in La Crosse!


Visit for maps, information about recreation, restaurants, shopping and history.


Online Registration is now open! Register on or before July 1 to take advantage of "early bird" registration rates. Click HERE to register.
If you prefer to register offline, click HERE for a printed form which you can fill out and send by postal mail, email attachment or fax.

SPECIAL EVENTS (You must register for these by July 20)

Sunday, July 26 - Welcome BBQ and Reception. Our annual Welcome BBQ and Reception will be held on Sunday evening at 5:30 pm in Myrick Park, just a short walk from our conference venue. $25.00

Tuesday, July 28 - Banquet. The annual Banquet Buffet will be on Tuesday evening at the Radisson Hotel. To give folks a chance to stretch their legs, socialize, and freshen up there will be free time from 4:00 - 6:00 pm with the Banquet starting at 6:30 pm sharp. The evening's entertainment will feature stories and songs by the Old School Variety Show. $35.00

Wednesday, July 29 - Nut Grower Tour. (Wed. Field Trip) On Wednesday we will be touring a grove of wild American Chestnut trees, the permaculture farm of Mark Shepard, and the processing facilities of the new American Hazelnut Company. On the way back to La Crosse we'll be stopping in historic Viroqua, Wisconsin for a local foods dinner at the Rooted Spoon which features seasonal menus that highlight locally sourced and sustainably produced ingredients.

Click HERE for details about Wednesday's Field Trip.

Pre-registration for all Special Events is required. $30.00 with lunch and transportation; $25.00 with lunch and no transportation.
Dinner at Rooted Spoon on the way back. Wednesday, July 29. $20.00

CAP ACTIVITIES (You must register for these by July 20)

La Crosse, Wisconsin lies on the banks of the mighty Mississippi. It is a river town with many great things to see and do. Three events have been planned for accompanying persons, with transportation provided. Advanced registration is required.

1. Monday, July 27 from 1:30 to 3:00 -- a scenic tour aboard the La Crosse Queen on the Mississippi River. Prices for adults, including tax, are $17.00. Tickets for children 1 to 11 years old must be purchased on site and cost $7.75 plus tax; children under 1 year old, free.

2. Tuesday, July 28 approximately 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM -- instruction and pottery painting and assorted crafts at All Glazed Up, 205 Pearl St, La Crosse. Price varies depending upon the project selected. Items are kiln dried and mailed to participants.

3. Tuesday, July 28, 1 PM - 3 PM Piggy's Restaurant, 501 Front St., chef demonstration and lunch, Price $18.00.


The Carthwright Galley is an on-campus cafeteria and will be open for participants to purchase their meals beginning with breakfast on Monday, July 27. La Crosse is home to many fabulous restaurants and eateries and participants are welcome to dine on their own. Folks arriving on Sunday will be responsible for breakfast and lunch on their own. The welcome dinner will be Sunday evening starting at 5:30PM.


Conference attendees can stay in Reuter Hall on campus, just a short stroll from the Cartwright Center, at a cost of $40 per person per night. Rooms must be reserved via the conference registration link as an additional registration option. Each suite in this dorm has four individually locked bedrooms, a shared kitchen, living room, and bathroom, and Internet access. The rooms are air-conditioned. Four people will be assigned to each suite by UW-La Crosse Residence Life staff. Furniture in the common area consists of a couch, love seat, two coffee tables and three bar stools at the counter. Furniture in the bedrooms consists of a twin size bed, dresser, desk and chair. Provided items: bed linens (2 sheets, 1 pillow case, 1 pillow, 1 blanket, 1 towel, 1 hand towel, 1 wash cloth). YOU MUST REGISTER FOR CAMPUS LODGING BY JULY 20.

The conference has also reserved a block of rooms at the Radisson Hotel in downtown La Crosse, about a mile from campus. The Radisson has offered the discounted rate of $124 for a single king bedded room and $134 for a double queen bedded room. Reservations for these rooms should be made directly with the hotel by calling (800) 967-9033 or (608) 784-6680. Indicate that you will be attending the NNGA meeting and request the NNGA room block, rooms which are being held for those attending the NNGA meeting. Rooms must be booked by June 25 to receive the discounted rate. Click HERE to view the hotel and its facilities--indoor pool, fitness center, business center. High speed Internet access is free. There will be a free shuttle from the Radisson to the campus before the beginning of planned activities and presentations and from the campus to the Radisson after presentations and activities end.

Other hotel/motel options which are less expensive than the Radisson Hotel but a few miles from the campus and from downtown are Best Western (608-781-7000), Super 8 (608-781-8880) and Quality Inn (608-781-1400). You must make all hotel reservations on your own.


Parking is not free anywhere on campus. Parking is enforced seven days a week, 24 hours. There is very limited 2-hour parking on the city streets adjacent to campus. The daily parking permits are $5/day and the entire event parking permit is $25.
In-person purchase of permits is only available Monday - Friday, 8 am - 4:30pm. Below are links which will enable you to purchase permits online:

Northern Nut Growers, Sun., July 26th
Northern Nut Growers, Mon., July 27th
Northern Nut Growers, Tues., July 28th
Northern Nut Growers, Wed., July 29th
Northern Nut Growers, Thurs., July 30th
Northern Nut Growers, ALL DAYS


If someone needs to get in touch with you in an emergency, they should call the Continuing Education Dept. at 608-785-6504.


The Technical Program, which lists speakers and their presentation titles, is now available. The Technical Program is stable at this point, but changes in time slots or speakers can occur. Note that their are two concurrent sessions on Tuesday morning.

Click HERE to transfer to the Convention Schedule which includes the Technical Program. You can read, print and/or save the document.

Click HERE for details about Wednesday's Field Trip which is optional.


The university will provide refreshments and snacks during presentation breaks. You may not give out cookies there. However, you may greet friends and attendees by offering cookies during registration.


The very popular Show and Tell will be held in the Valhalla Room of the Cartwright Center on Sunday, July 26 from 8-10PM, immediately after our welcome BBQ. The event will be moderated by the man, the myth, the legend - Mr. Jerry Henkin. We are looking for individuals who have tried new equipment or techniques, or have grown promising selections or cultivars. Could you tell us about some recent success, or share your experiences to help others avoid a failure? This is a very valuable, informal program that is only made possible by those with valuable experience and the willingness to share with the group. This will be held at the Cartwright CH2M HILL Alumni Center after our BBQ on Sunday evening. If you would like to participate in Show and Tell, email Jerry Henkin in advance at: Priority is given to those who contact him in advance.


2015 marks the 23rd year of the Annual NNGA Research Auction. The Auction will be held on Monday, July 27 starting around 7:30PM. Contributions by members are strongly encouraged. Handmade donations and products are always welcome. This is an excellent way to advertise your product. All proceeds go to support nut tree-related research. For questions about the Auction contact Greg Miller at Items can be dropped off at registration or shipped in advance to Melissa Webster. You must contact Melissa prior to shipping to make arrangements.
Contact Melissa Webster at:


We have reserved a room specifically for exhibits and posters (Ward Room). Exhibits that relate to growing, processing, or selling nuts, scion wood, trees, tools, nutcrackers, displays, etc. are welcome. Please contact Jason Fischbach by email at if you have something you would like to exhibit. Space may be limited and priority will be given to NNGA Members.

Anyone is welcome to display a poster on subjects related to the growing, breeding, processing, or sale of nuts. If you would like to display a poster please send a poster title, name with contact information, and two sentence synopsis of what is covered in the poster to: Jason Fischbach at


There will be a group photo during the meeting.


La Crosse Wisconsin is located on the Mississippi River which separates Wisconsin from Minnesota. The nearest large airport is Minneapolis/St. Paul which is 150 miles away, approximately a 2 1/2 hour drive. There is an airport in La Crosse. The Radisson Hotel provides free shuttle service from the La Crosse airport.


As the saying goes in the Upper Midwest, if you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes. The weather in La Crosse, WI during the last half of July is typically hot and humid with occasional thunderstorms. Daytime temps are usually in the 80s, but high 90s are not uncommon. Humidity can be oppressive at times. That said, we could also see temps in the 70s with low humidity. You just never know. Come prepared for just about anything...except maybe snow...we don't usually have snow in July.

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