Fresh Thoughts: I Support Blueberries

Shawn Grant News Articles

Fresh Thoughts: I Support Blueberries

Next week, our blueberry industry will descend on our nation’s capital.

What was originally scheduled to be our NABC and USHBC Spring Meetings at a hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, has turned into an exciting opportunity to work together to help raise the profile of the blueberry industry with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

What’s our message? 

“Support blueberries.” 

From the records I’ve been able to find here at NABC, July was first introduced as “Blueberry Month” through a joint resolution of the House and Senate on June 13, 1974. The resolution encouraged then President Nixon to, “issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States … to observe that month with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

Then in 2005, USDA Secretary Mike Johanns issued a similar proclamation declaring July “National Blueberry Month.”

Next week, we’ll be working together in Washington, D.C., encouraging lawmakers across the country to “support blueberries” by signing on to a new resolution that better reflects the incredible growth, value and impact our industry has on the economy and our communities. 

The original 1974 Resolution hangs on the wall today of the NABC offices.

Of course, we’ll have some talking points on policy priorities like labor, trade and the Farm Bill, but our main message, ask and purpose next week will be:

  • To connect with as many members of Congress and their staff as possible. 
  • To collectively share the value our industry brings to the economy.
  • To invite them to sign on to support blueberries through a new resolution declaring July as National Blueberry Month. 

Organizing over 130 NABC members to meet with their Representatives and Senators to advocate for our industry on Capitol Hill is an NABC first. So it’s only fitting that our first “ask” is something that all members should agree to support.

National Blueberry Month.  

I look forward to proudly wearing my button and spreading the good news about blueberries together.