USDA Announces Appointments to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

February 14, 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the appointment of 28 members and alternate members to serve on the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. Members and alternates will serve a three-year term ending Dec. 31, 2025.  Four of the appointments are the exporter members and alternates whose terms will expire Dec. 31, 2024, to remain in the council’s nomination rotation.

The newly appointed members are:

  • Doug LaCroix of Reedley, CA (California Producer Member)
  • William J. Steed of Pauma Valley, CA (California Producer Alternate)
  •  Brittany H. Lee of Gainesville, FL (Florida Producer Member)
  • Michael Hill of Mount Dora, FL (Florida Producer Alternate)
  •    Tammy P. Brannen of Alma, GA (Georgia Producer Alternat
  • Dennis Vander Kooi of Allegan, MI (Michigan Producer Member
  • George Fritz of Gobles, MI (Michigan Producer Alternate)
  • Paul Macrie III of Hammonton, NJ (New Jersey Producer Member)
  • Chelsea Consalo of Egg Harbor City, NJ (New Jersey Producer Alternate)
  • Jimmy Horrell of Ivanhoe, NC (North Carolina Producer Member)
  • Kristen Brinkley of East Ivanhoe, NC (North Carolina Alternate Member)
  • Douglas Krahmer of St. Paul, OR (Oregon Producer Member)
  • Ellie Norris of Roseburg, OR (Oregon Alternate Member)
  • Bryan Sakuma of Burlington, WA (Washington Producer Member)
  • Leif Olson of Prosser, WA (Alternate Member)
  • James C. Clinard, Jr. of Plant City, FL (Importer Member)
  • Guy P. Cotton of Stockton, CA (Importer Alternate)
  • Ryan Lockman of Traverse City, Michigan (Importer Member)
  • Andrew Maiman of Fort Lauderdale, FL (Importer Alternate)
  • Joseph A. Barsi of Watsonville, CA (Importer Member)
  • Bo Slack of Wenatchee, WA (Importer Alternate)
  • Mark Adams of Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada (Exporter Member)
  • Ray Biln of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada (Exporter Alternate)
  • Tiffany Crosby of Douglas, GA (Georgia Producer Member)

Members appointed to fill vacancies with a term ending Dec. 31, 2024 are:

  •     Jose Luis Bustamante of Guadalajara, Mexico (Exporter Member)
  •     Jose Guillermo Romo Romero of Jalisco, Mexico (Exporter Alternate)
  •     Daniel J. Bustamante of Lima, Peru (Exporter Member)
  •     Jose Antonio Castro of Lima, Peru (Exporter Alternate)

The 21-member council is comprised of 12 producers, four importers, four exporters, and one public member. Each member seat has a corresponding alternate seat. Members and alternates can serve up to two consecutive three-year terms.

Since 1966, Congress has authorized industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight to 22 boards. The oversight ensures fiscal accountability and program integrity and is paid for by industry assessments.

AMS policy is that diversity of the boards, councils and committees it oversees should reflect the diversity of their industries in terms of the experience of members, methods of production and distribution, marketing strategies, and other distinguishing factors, including but not limited to individuals from historically underserved communities, that will bring different perspectives and ideas to the table. Throughout the full nomination process, the industry must conduct extensive outreach, paying particular attention to reaching underserved communities, and consider the diversity of the population served and the knowledge, skills and abilities of the members to serve a diverse population.

More information about the council is available on the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council webpage.

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