Message from the Chairman

by Steve Erickson, Chairman, Oregon Blueberry Commission

After returning from the US Highbush Blueberry Council meetings in Dallas a couple of weeks ago, I am refreshingly reminded of how collaborative and proactive our industry continues to be.

Since my start in this industry more than 30 years ago, I have often been enlightened and delighted to see how far the blueberry industry has come. We have all witnessed industries where prognostication and pessimism have predicated the failing of an industry.

With the help of a well organized industry and the efforts of the many organizations to inform and prepare, blueberries have been able to overcome many such predictions. It is very rewarding to be in the blueberry industry, and we have much to be thankful for as other agricultural commodities struggle to stay in business through one of the most challenging times ever for food producers in the Willamette Valley.

Be Sure to watch the "Little Blue Dynamos" video in the USHBC article

We have the pleasure of growing a healthful, consumer-friendly and good tasting commodity. We can all be very proud of producing such a well rounded and desirable crop and take great pride and satisfaction in being super-food producers.

That is not to say that our industry is without its share of great challenges, both present and future.

Regardless of the size of your farm or how you market your fruit, it is important to educate yourself with all of the information that is available to you and be prepared to represent your industry in a well informed and positive manner.

The industry has endured many challenges, with the probability of even greater challenges yet to come. The timely and relevant concerns of legal labor, food safety and oversupply, to mention a few, will be industry defining moments.

The Oregon Blueberry Commission and the US Highbush Blueberry Council are diligently working on your behalf and have accomplished great things, but the issues facing our industry will require involvement from all of us.

This summer, all blueberry growers from across this great country of ours will have an opportunity to vote on whether to keep the US Highbush Blueberry Council going for another five years. In the last referendum, growers overwhelmingly voted in favor of the organization.

This organization has succeeded in extending the blueberry message to a much wider consumer base and has continued to put many dollars back into grower’s pockets through all of the valuable promotion and research. Be sure to read the "Little Blue Dynamos" article later in this newsletter as well as the insulin sensitivity articles; both projects funded through the USHBC.

Now more than ever we must stay organized and meet our challenges head on. Please, when you get your ballot this July, take the time to vote. Like any election or referendum, this is your chance to have your voice be heard.

Good luck this season and thank you for the opportunity to serve the industry.


Message from the Chairman

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update

Market Outlook:
A Look Back …
and Ahead

Bumbles and Blueberries

Organic Blueberry Production Research Project

Critical Program Needs Industry Support

Small Growers to Receive GAP Certification Aid

Oregon Fresh Season Promotion On a Roll for 2011

Bee Fees Jump a Bit

Smooth Move Increases Insulin Sensitivity

New Trap Hits
the Spots
(Spotted Wing Drosophila)

OSU Researcher Driving Blueberries up a Tree

USHBC Unveils New “Little Blue Dynamos” Positioning and Campaign for Highbush Blueberries

Watching World Acreage and
Production Grow

Specialty Crop Grant Supports Oregon Berry Festival;
Free Berry Vendor Space Available


Oregon Blueberry Commission • P.O. Box 3366 • Salem, Oregon 97302
Paid for by the Oregon Blueberry Commission, an agency of the State of Oregon.