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

WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of seven members and ten alternates to serve on the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.

Members and alternates newly appointed to serve three-year terms are:

  • R. Verne Gingersich, West Linn, Ore. (Western Region Producer Member)
  • Ellie Norris, Roseburg, Ore. (Western Region Producer Alternate)
  • Shelly Hartmann, South Haven, Mich. (Midwest Region Producer Member)
  • Patricia A. Goin, North Judson, Ind. (Midwest Region Producer Alternate)
  • David F. Arena, Hammonton, N.J. (Northeast Region Producer Member)
  • Art Galletta, Hammonton, N.J. (Northeast Region Producer Alternate)
  • Ryan Atwood, Umatilla, Fla. (Southern Region Producer Member)
  • Stacy Spivey, Soperton, Ga. (Southern Region Producer Alternate)
  • John Johnston, Salinas, Calif. (Importer Member)
  • Bonnie Lundblad, Medford, N.J. (Importer Alternate)
  • Jorge A. Varela, Santiago, Chile (Exporter Member)
  • Carolos Abujatum, Provincia Linares, Chile (Exporter Alternate)
  • Amy Howell, Egg Harbor City, N.J. (Public Member)
  • William O. Cline, Wilmington, N.C. (Public Alternate)

Alternates appointed to fill vacancies with terms ending Dec. 31, 2019 are:

  • C. Jerome Crosby, Willacoochee, Ga. (Georgia Producer)
  • Paul J. Macrie III, Hammonton, N.J. (New Jersey Producer)
  • Jesse Brar, British Columbia, Canada (Exporter)

The council has 20-member seats composed of 12 producers, four importers, two exporters, one handler 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 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. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides oversight of 22 boards, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.

More information about the council is available on Agricultural Marketing Service U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council web page and on the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council website.