Michigan blueberry grower Shelly Hartmann has been named chair of the US 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 ten years, most recently as vice-chair, Hartmann is also actively involved in a number of other industry organisations and programmes.
“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 organisation,” 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.