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BOULDER, COLO AND NORWAY, IOWA, MARCH 2001 – Frontier Natural Products Co-op, a leader in organic cultivation research for endangered medicinal herbs, is poised to take the next step in the progression of its four-year old project - the National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs (NCPMH) in Meigs County, Ohio. Frontier announces that in order to give the natural products industry greater access to the NCPMH and to create a means for it to be self-sufficient, it has chosen non-profit partner Rural Action to begin a new era of fund-raising and research at the center. With its focus on sustainable agricultural pursuits, and a track record of on-farm research, grower outreach and economic development, Rural Action now takes on the day-to-day management and fund-raising for the NCPMH. Frontier will continue to support Rural Action during the transition in 2001 and, if all criteria are met over the course of the next year, Frontier will donate the land and the NCPMH to Rural Action in 2002.

"The National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs is an important instrument in the advancement of research of threatened medicinal herbs. Frontier saw a great need for the center and founded it in 1997 as an innovative vehicle for educating and sharing herb research amongst the natural products industry," said Steve Hughes, Frontier's CEO. "With Rural Action on board, the NCPMH will be the industry resource it was intended to be, providing crucial research and grower outreach to the entire herbal community."

To launch this new partnership and initiative, Frontier has created the Rural Action Fund for the National Center for The Preservation of Medicinal Herbs with a pledge of $45,000 for FY 2002, and asks other members of the natural products industry to show their support by making a contribution. Those interested in medicinal herb research and the work of the NCPMH are invited to attend the third annual meeting of the National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs at Expo West, on Friday, March 9, 2001 at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel, Grand Ballroom Salon A at 8:30 a.m. Rural Action will give a presentation and be available for comment.

"The National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs was created for the industry so we very much hope that it will be supported whole-heartedly by the natural products community," says Carol Kuhre, the executive director of Rural Action. "Thanks to Frontier's generous pledge of funds and resources, we have the opportunity to lend our expertise to the National Center. We are committed to preserving the herb-rich, diverse and vital ecosystem of the property itself, but we will need the industry's ongoing support if we are to continue to provide research on growing medicinal herbs in the future," she said.

To attend the meeting and presentation during the Natural Products Expo West, or for additional information, please contact Holden McClurePR at (303) 449-5550.

The National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs is situated on 68 herb-rich acres in Meigs County, Ohio. The mission of the National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs is to determine successful cultivation methods of threatened or "critical to cultivate" medicinal herbs in order to curb the need to harvest these plants from the wild and ensure their future viability. This is to be done in tandem with the education of growers and farmers on the needs, possibilities and methods of growing these "critical to cultivate" herbs. The NCPMH is guided by a 50-member Advisory Council made up of members of the natural products industry, the herbal community and academia. For more information visit the Center's site at or call 740-742-4401.

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Frontier Natural Products Co-op(TM)
Founded in 1976 and based in Norway, Iowa, Frontier Natural Products Co-op(TM) offers a full line of natural and organic products under the Frontier, Simply Organic®, Aura Cacia® and Aura Cacia Organics® brands. Products include culinary herbs, spices and baking flavors; bulk herbs and spices; and natural and organic aromatherapy products. Frontier's goal is to provide consumers with the highest-quality organic and natural products while supporting and promoting social and environmental responsibility. For more information, visit Frontier's website at .