Fruit breeding at the University of Minnesota has been ongoing since 1878, when the state legislature appropriated $2,000 to purchase a tract of land near Lake Minnetonka at Excelsior as an experiment station and $1,000 per year for operations.

Today, the fruit breeding program is comprehensive and includes substantial efforts to develop commercial varieties of strawberry, blackberry, and blueberry. The goal remains to develop winter hardy, disease resistant cultivars that bear high quality fruit at commercially profitable levels in cool climates. The germplasm developed over the past century is a critical genetic foundation.

 

Did You Know?

The Latham raspberry propelled Minnesota to be the third-ranked state in the U.S. in raspberry acreage by the 1940s, with a crop value of more than a million dollars annually. Still available today, it is widely grown in the colder areas of North America and Europe.