Developing Commercial Guidelines for Pawpaw, a Novel Commercial Tree Fruit

Project summary:

  • Interview pawpaw growers across New York and in major pawpaw-growing states (MI, OH, IN, PA) via in-person, phone, and video call.
  • Record grower responses about growing and marketing practices and site characteristics for pawpaws.
  • Photograph successful pawpaw operations and management practices of pawpaws
  • Obtain first-hand experience establishing a pawpaw orchard


  • Compile information about modern-day pawpaw cultivation in New York State and Midwestern states
  • Document the cultural significance of this native fruit for Indigenous communities
  • Identify barriers growers are facing in production and marketing.
  • Population mapping and climate change forecasting for pawpaw cultivation.
  • A pawpaw production guide for commercial scale (long-term).

Roles and responsibilities 

The intern will work with CCE Harvest NY extension associates to: 

  • Identify pawpaw growers across New York State and other Midwestern states (PA, OH, MI, KY) willing to be interviewed. 
  • Interview growers about management practices, production issues, cultural and personal significance of crop, and barriers to productivity.
  • Record geographic locations, site characteristics, and best practices for pawpaw seedling establishment.
  • Outline a production guide and compile photographs for this guide

Qualifications and previous coursework

This opportunity is available to students in Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

This student should have taken at least two HORT classes with a focus on fruit production in New York State. An interest in promoting New York State agriculture and science communication (writing, public speaking, personal communication) is required.

Learning outcomes 

  • Describe the state of agriculture in New York State, and other Midwestern states — in the context of a diversified fruit production system.
  • Develop interview questions and practice interview skills
  • Design, write and produce various agricultural publications