From the Field: Georgia Blueberry Update With Michael Thomas

There is no better way to find out what’s really happening in the blueberry industry than to get out to some actual blueberry fields. In this episode of “The Business of Blueberries,” Georgia blueberry grower and emerging industry leader Michael Thomas shares how his 2021 harvest has gone and why he’s optimistic about the future of blueberries. 

Host Kasey Cronquist, president of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) and the North American Blueberry Council (NABC), visits Thomas Family Farms in Blackshear, Georgia for this conversation with Michael, which provides insight on this year’s Georgia blueberry season, opportunities ahead for continuing to drive demand, and history and background from this first-generation blueberry grower.

“I think we’re optimistic about the future of blueberries. I think there’s still room for growth, and if we can continue to be proactive on education about the health benefits of blueberries, I think there’s a future in blueberries for all of us.”  –  Michael Thomas

“The Georgia crop from the beginning of the season was estimated to be a pretty heavy yielding year, and for us it turned out to be that way. Pricing overall for the whole industry was definitely better this year than it’s been in previous years even with a much larger crop, so overall, I’d have to summarize this year as a success.” – Michael Thomas 

Topics covered include: 

  • Feedback from an emerging industry leader about the future of the blueberry industry. 
  • Importance of and opportunities for grower involvement and leadership in organizations like the USHBC.
  • Insights about the 2021 Georgia blueberry season.
  • Opportunities for growing demand and consumption of blueberries.

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 Pat Goin in Indiana, Rex Schultz in Michigan, Doug Krahmer in Oregon, Bryan Sakuma in Washington, and Jason Smith in British Columbia. This was recorded on July 7, 2021.  

Marketing Boost

National Blueberry Month is in full swing, and at USHBC, we’re making sure our strategies, tools and tactics are working for the good of the industry. In this week’s Marketing Boost, USHBC/NABC Vice President of Marketing and Communications Jennifer Sparks shares how promotions, advertising, social content, industry engagement and other efforts are helping get eyes, ears and taste buds on blueberries during this important power period. You can join the fun by visiting our comprehensive National Blueberry Month tool kit at – it’s like having your own advertising agency at your fingertips.