Folsom, Calif. – Michigan blueberry grower Shelly Hartmann has been named chair of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC). Hartmann, who co-owns True Blue Farms with her husband Dennis, succeeds Chris Barnhill of North Carolina.
Serving on the USHBC board for 10 years, most recently as vice chair, Hartmann is also actively involved in a number of other industry organizations and programs: Governor-appointed role of treasurer of the Michigan Blueberry Commission, a member of the board of the Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program Advisory Council, and on the planning committee for the National Blueberry Festival that takes place annually in South Haven, Michigan.
“Shelly brings passion and dedication to the growth and success of the blueberry industry, and for these and many other reasons, I know she’ll be an excellent chairperson for our organization,” noted Kasey Cronquist, president of USHBC and North American Blueberry Council. “During Chris Barnhill’s tenure, we have made tremendous progress on initiatives that have driven blueberry demand, and Shelly’s enthusiasm and leadership will continue to drive the USHBC towards new opportunities and the innovation we need going forward.”
The Hartmanns started their farming operation in the early 1990s, though the family has been in the blueberry business for four generations. Today, True Blue Farms is one of the largest growers in North America, producing and marketing millions of pounds of blueberries.
“Over the years, I have seen first-hand a lot of success and opportunity unfold for the blueberry industry, and it has been especially exciting to serve on the USHBC board as we’ve entered an era of innovation,” said Hartmann. “As I embrace this new role, I’m looking forward to engaging more growers and stakeholders in our work as we shape how our industry continues to evolve into the future and prepare for the opportunities that lie ahead for blueberries.”
Hartmann will complete this year’s term and will be eligible to serve additional terms as chair of the USHBC. More information about USHBC leadership and officers is available here.
About the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
Established in 2000, the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) is a federal agriculture research and promotion program with independent oversight from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). USHBC represents blueberry growers and packers in North and South America who market their blueberries in the United States and overseas, and works to promote the growth and well-being of the entire blueberry industry. USHBC was established by blueberry growers and currently has 2,500 growers, packers and importers. USHBC is committed to providing blueberries that are grown, harvested, packed and shipped in clean, safe environments. Learn more at ushbc.org