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2015 International American Ginseng Expo - Dec. 4 and 5

2015 INTERNATIONAL AMERICAN GINSENG EXPO On December 4th and 5th, 2015 the North Carolina Natural Products Association will host an all-star gathering of ginseng experts at the second International American Ginseng Expo to discuss the impact of wild and wild-simulated American Ginseng on the economy, health, and culture of Western North Carolina, Appalachia, and the nation.  The Expo on the “king of herbs” is open to the public and tickets for one or both days are available in advance, and if space allows, at the door on the days of the event.  The event will be hosted at UNC-Asheville’s Highsmith Union and includes vending and poster presentations from the scientific and research community.  Local and national celebrity, “Junkyard” Sam, area resident and one of the stars of the History Channel’s Appalachian Outlaws, will be attending to talk about his family’s tradition of digging, why he joined the show, why he hates poachers as much as anyone, and what he is doing to preserve the plant in the wild for future generations.  W. Scott Persons, renowned Ginseng grower and author and Bob Beyfuss, retired Ginseng specialist from Cornell University will share their comprehensive knowledge of the opportunities and challenges with the cultivation of “wild-simulated ginseng” in a special Friday afternoon intensive for beginning growers. Both will return on Saturday for presentations. Dr. Jeanine Davis, Associate Professor of Horticultural Science, NC State University and herbalist Phyllis Light will present on Other Forest Botanicals in demand, while Chip Carroll of United Plant Savers and Wallace Souther will speak about creating sanctuaries for plants of concern. All presenters as growers, authors, educators, herbalists, conservationists, and researchers, have devoted their careers to developing ginseng as a profitable crop for forest landowners, to using and preserving it as a traditional medicine, and to conserving the plant for future generations.  Of serious concern is security and protection of wild and wild-simulated plots of American Ginseng on public and private lands.   This will be a major topic of both days and expected to be a hot topic of the roundtable discussions to be held on Friday where attendees and speakers can sit together to discuss issues surrounding the industry. Other panelists include representatives of state and national government agencies tasked with the growth and regulation of the ginseng industry, export specialists, researchers and herbalists.  The program includes in-depth and time-sensitive information for anyone interested in the conservation or horticulture of Panax quinquefolius (American Ginseng), or how entrepreneurs are blending value-added products made with ginseng.  “We're so excited to host the 2015 International Ginseng Expo. It's been exactly 300 years since ginseng was discovered in America by European settlers although Native Americans already used leaf and root medicinally. In 2012, the US exported 45,000 lbs of wild ginseng and 342,000 lbs cultivated ginseng. As wild stands diminish, we are so moved to see those that have been harvesting for generations continue to be land stewards, putting a lot more ginseng seed back in the wild, hoping it will not be stolen. These stewards have saved American ginseng, as our beautiful Appalachia experiences more deforestation due to development. The expo will create an environment for serious discussions and a great time to network and swap techniques for wild simulation and cultivation. Anyone can help save American ginseng populations by growing a little in their small or large woodland plots, even in the city,” says Jeannie Dunn, NCNPA President and Owner of Red Moon Herbs.  To register and for more information, go to http://www.tinyurl.com/2015GinsengExpo.  For color photos and/or additional information about the 2015 International American Ginseng Expo please contact Jennifer Flynn, Brand Manager, Blue Ridge Naturally ™ and former NCNPA Board Member, 828-380-9541, seal@blueridgenaturally.org ++++++++++++++++++++ABOUT: The North Carolina Natural Products Association (NCNPA) was formed as a 501c (3) non-profit organization dedicated to conserving, cultivating, sustainably harvesting, and processing North Carolina grown medicinal plants. NCNPA's mission is to establish North Carolina as a key global supplier of premium-quality raw materials and plant-based value added products such as natural medicines, organic products, functional foods, and personal care. The NCNPA administers the Blue Ridge Naturally™ Seal program that provides a product quality as place guarantee for buyers of products manufactured in the mountains of western North Carolina or grown within the Southern Appalachians.++++++++++++++++++++++++++ For editors:The ginseng industry is an economic driver for rural regions in the Southeastern US and particularly WNC. The markets for ginseng are ever growing with the majority of growth apparent in exports, though there is increasing domestic interest in the crop. A report published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on U.S. Exports of American Ginseng states that in 2012 45,000 pounds of wild ginseng were exported, while nearly 343,000 pounds of cultivated ginseng were exported. The USFWS reports in a fact sheet on Wild American Ginseng that the wholesale value of wild-harvested ginseng is $27 million. Western North Carolina is home to some of the leading experts in the ginseng field.For additional information about the NCNPA please contact Jeannie Dunn, President, North Carolina Natural Products Association, 828-301-3010, NCNPAboard@gmail.com