FOLSOM, CALIF. – Michigan blueberry grower Shelly Hartmann has been named chair of the US Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC). Hartmann, who co-owns True Blue Farms, 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,” said 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.”
Hartmann will complete this year’s term and will be eligible to serve additional terms as chair of the USHBC.
“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.”