The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking nominations for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council to fill seats for 12 members and their alternates whose three-year terms will expire Dec. 31, 2025; and two exporter members and their alternates whose two-year terms will expire Dec. 31, 2024. Nomination applications are due to the council by April 29, 2022.
The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council is industry-funded and supports the marketing and promotion of highbush blueberries. The council is composed of 21 members who represent the industry as follows: 12 domestic producers, four importers, four foreign exporters, and one public member. Each member has an alternate.
The council is seeking nominees to serve a three-year term for one domestic producer member and alternate from each of the following top eight blueberry producing states: California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon and Washington, three importer members and their alternate, and one exporter and alternate who represents Canada.
Further, the council is seeking nominees to serve a two-year term for the new exporter seats that were added to the council for 2023 for one exporter member and alternate who represent Peru and Mexico, respectively.
Applications are available from the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council at https://ushbc.blueberry.org/forms/. You may also contact Julie Fogarty, director of operations, U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council at (916) 983-0111; or Jeanette Palmer, marketing specialist, USDA, at (202) 720-5976 or Jeanette.Palmer@usda.gov. Program information is also available on the AMS U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council webpage.
Since 1966, Congress has authorized the development of industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool their resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight of 22 boards, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.
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.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender