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 non-graduating 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