Blueberry Industry Leadership Program

USHBC brings together rising professionals across the blueberry supply chain to empower the next generation of industry leaders.


Leadership starts here.

The application period for Class 3 is now open through May 31, 2024.

The Blueberry Industry Leadership Program, launched in March 2021, is designed to elevate up-and-coming leaders in the blueberry industry by providing in-depth training, industry education and connection to other ag leaders for passionate blueberry professionals across the supply chain.

What fellows will experience and learn:

Immersive personalized leadership training
Knowledge sharing from industry veterans and thought-leaders
Innovation and technology deep-dive
Impacts of advancements in health and nutrition
Presentation and media training
How to build business relationships and activate your network within the industry
Camaraderie among fellows to create a lifelong support network

Is this program right for me?

The best candidates for the Blueberry Industry Leadership Program are passionate individuals who want to have an active role in leading the next era of growth for blueberries. Growers (domestic and international), processors, handlers, exporters and buyers are eligible to apply.
Evaluation Criteria

Demonstration of leadership potential
Passion and commitment to the success of the blueberry industry
Career relevance to the blueberry industry
Professional credentials
Letters of recommendation

Selection Process

Application Process for Class 3 is open April 29 – May 31, 2024.
Ready to apply? Click here to begin the application process.

The selection of applicants is the sole responsibility of the USHBC Industry Leadership Program Selection Committee, which is comprised of USHBC Board and committee members, or other volunteering blueberry industry stakeholders. While USHBC staff will have a role in facilitating the review of applicants, the selection committee will ultimately decide which fellows are chosen for the program.

Program Commitment

Participation in the USHBC Blueberry Industry Leadership Program requires significant commitment by selected candidates and their employers.

  • Employer/employee commitment: Applicants must be currently employed by a company or organization with involvement in the highbush blueberry industry. Up to one applicant per company will be selected to participate in the program. In addition, participants must commit to complete the program under the employment of their current company. If a participant changes companies during the program year, they must withdraw from the program.
  • Program fee: Candidates or their sponsoring organization must also agree to pay the program fee of $2,500, if selected, to be used toward program expenses and materials. If a candidate is unable to pay the program fee, the opportunity to participate in the program will be forfeited. Payment instructions will be provided following the selection process.
  • Attendance and participation: Participants must agree to fulfill the entire program, including travel for in-person sessions. You’ll be asked to confirm your availability and commitment to attending the sessions as outlined in the anticipated schedule below in the application form. If a participant fails to attend at least 90% of sessions, they will not be able to graduate from the program. Exceptions will be made for major life events or extenuating circumstances.

Program Schedule: Class 3

The program schedule is tentative and subject to slight adjustments. Please note both virtual and in-person dates and timing.

In-Person Class Trip Dates

  • September 23-28, 2024
  • February 2025
  • May 2025
  • September 2025

Virtual Engagement Sessions

  • 2024: 2 sessions TBD
  • 2025: 4 sessions TBD

In addition to participating in the schedule, program fellows will complete a capstone project that addresses an important blueberry industry issue of their choosing. Following the program kick-off, topics must be submitted for approval by the selection committee.

Ready to take the next step in your leadership journey? Apply today.

Program Application

The application period for Class 3 will open April 29!

Meet the Members of Class #2

Cecilia Allende
Sunny Valley International

Chad Don
Oasis Farms

Joseph Klick
Naturipe Farms

Ben Lahr

Kolby Lewis
Blue Raeven Farms

Katiuska Morales
Camposol Fresh USA

Sarah Quackenbush
North Bay Produce

Ranjeet Randhawa
Fall Creek

Kyle Straughn
Straughn Farms

Joel Whitehead
Wish Farms

For any questions, please contact Amanda Griffin, vice president of engagement and education, at [email protected]; CC [email protected].