A Glimpse Into the Industry’s Future With Chelsea Consalo

As the next generation of blueberry growers gets more involved in the industry, the ambition, future-focused thinking, hard work and innovation they apply to their operations is a source of inspiration. This episode features one young grower who was recently named one of The Packer’s “Women in Produce,” and offers hope for the future for all involved in the blueberry business. 

In this episode of “The Business of Blueberries,” host Kasey Cronquist, president of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) and the North American Blueberry Council (NABC), speaks with New Jersey grower and emerging industry leader Chelsea Consalo. In a wide-ranging conversation, Chelsea shares her motivations for staying involved in the family blueberry business, ways her farm has innovated and improved in recent years, and words of advice and encouragement for other young blueberry growers.  

“For me, because my family has such a long history, that really motivates me. When we’re in the season, and we’re tired and we’re working really hard, I really think about what my family has built here, and I want to keep that going. I see this beautiful crop that we’ve brought to fruition and we’re getting to consumers, and that makes me really proud.” – Chelsea Consalo

“I encourage other people my age to get involved [in industry leadership programs]. I feel like that’s the most important thing, to get out there and meet people because that’s how you get more involved, and you meet friends, and you meet older mentors. I think networking is how you grow the industry, and getting younger people involved is the next step.” – Chelsea Consalo

Topics covered include: 

  • Insight about New Jersey’s 2021 blueberry season.
  • History of Consalo Family Farms, a fourth-generation blueberry operation. 
  • Innovations the operation has implemented to improve efficiencies.
  • Perspective from an emerging leader about the importance of industry engagement and involvement early on. 

Crop Report

The Blueberry Crop Report is an update on crop conditions and markets throughout North and South America. In this episode, you’ll hear from Doug Krahmer in Oregon, Bryan Sakuma in Washington, Matt Macrie in New Jersey, Pat Goin in Indiana, and Jason Smith in British Columbia. This was recorded on July 21, 2021.  

Fall Event Registration

As opportunities to gather again in person open up, the USHBC and NABC are pleased to announce that registration for Innovate 2021: USHBC+NABC Tech Symposium and Fall Meetings is now open! The action takes place at The Grand Hotel in Salem, Oregon, September 27-October 1, with a virtual attendance option also available. Don’t delay – super-early-bird pricing ends July 31! Register today at blueberryevents.org/.