The first-of-its-kind program will create opportunities for professionals across the blueberry supply chain to build skills and boost careers
FOLSOM, Calif., March 2, 2022 — The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) today announced the launch of its new program to elevate up-and-coming leaders in the blueberry industry. The program will accept up to 10 talented, passionate professionals from across the supply chain to become the first fellows in the Blueberry Industry Leadership Program.
The program, which is the first of its kind in the blueberry industry, is designed to help fellows grow their leadership skill set, learn from decades-long industry leaders and develop their network of connections. Professional development within the industry is a priority as members of the blueberry industry work together to make blueberries the No. 1 berry in sales volume and premium value. Fellows in the new program will lead the industry into its next period of growth.
“Our vision for the Blueberry Industry Leadership Program is to engage rising leaders in the blueberry industry and equip them with the tools they need to take an active role in working toward USHBC’s bold goal of making blueberries the world’s favorite fruit,” said Amanda Griffin, USHBC vice president of engagement and education, and lead facilitator of the new program. “The people who are blueberry industry leaders today got where they are through learning, collaboration and a drive to grow and innovate. We believe this program will open doors and bridge connections for people who share the same passion as our current leadership about the success of the blueberry industry.”
The leadership program will kick off later this spring and continue through next year, taking an interactive approach to leadership development through hands-on training, immersive learning experiences, engagement with key industry players and exposure to the many components of the produce supply chain. Fellows will participate both virtually and in person, traveling four times over the course of the curriculum between May 2022 through August 2023, with a graduation ceremony taking place at the 2023 USHBC fall meetings. To offset expenses and materials’ costs, fellows will be required to pay a $2,500 fee.
USHBC is seeking applicants who are up-and-coming leaders, hold a mid-level management position and have a minimum of five years experience in agriculture, with preference given to those who have worked in the blueberry industry. Potential fellows can visit ushbc.org/leadership to apply and learn more about the program, including application requirements and participation expectations.
Applicants will be judged on their demonstration of leadership potential, passion and commitment to the success of the blueberry industry, career relevance to the blueberry industry, professional credentials and overall fit for the program. Applicants will also be required to submit a letter of recommendation to be considered.
The deadline to apply is Monday, April 11, 2022. Applications will be reviewed and evaluated by the USHBC Industry Leadership Program Selection Committee, composed of USHBC board members and industry representatives. Top candidates will be interviewed throughout April, and the selected fellows will be notified the week of May 2, 2022.
Visit the website to learn more about getting involved with USHBC and supporting the blueberry industry.
Vice President of Engagement and Education
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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.