Folsom, Calif. – The North American Blueberry Council (NABC) today released a statement recapping the National Blueberry Month events that occurred in the nation’s capital throughout July. Blueberries are grown in 48 states on 13,000 farms, support nearly 45,000 jobs, and have $4.7 billion in economic impact. They are also packed with nutrition, with fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, and potassium in every handful.
Representatives Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Ore.) and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) held a State Product Giveaway prior to a House Agriculture Committee Hearing on Thursday, July 27, sharing some of Oregon and Maine’s finest blueberries to their fellow Members of Congress and their staff to celebrate National Blueberry Month. There was another cause for celebration that day for House Agriculture Chairman G.T. Thompson (R-Pa.) – a sweet blueberry treat on his birthday! The blueberries were provided by Norris Farms, Dragonberry Produce, Homegrown Organic Farms, and the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine.
“I enjoyed having the opportunity to celebrate National Blueberry Month by giving my colleagues in Congress a tase of what my state has to offer,” said Representative Chavez-DeRemer. “Oregon is home to a wide variety of specialty crops, and as a member of the Agriculture Committee, I’ll continue making it a top priority to support the specialty crop growers who help put food on the table for families across the country and around the world.”
“With over 500 growers across Maine, our state’s wild blueberry industry has contributed an estimated $250 million to our economy in a small state of only 1.3 million people—so you can see how important this is to our agricultural sector,” said Representative Pingree. “Maine wild blueberries are special—they are uniquely cultivated and have very high antioxidant properties. I hope all my House Agriculture Committee members and their staff enjoyed this little taste of Maine. I couldn’t think of a better way to close out National Blueberry Month!”
A resolution was also passed in the U.S. Senate declaring July National Blueberry Month – recognizing the positive economic impact and nutritional benefits of blueberries.
“July has shown that blueberries are beloved in our nation’s capital,” said Kasey Cronquist, President of the North American Blueberry Council. “Champions in the House like Representatives Chavez-DeRemer and Pingree, and in the Senate like Senator Stabenow show how widespread the appreciation for blueberries runs in DC. Blueberries are not just nutritious, but also an economic driver throughout the country. While July is an excellent month for blueberries, NABC advocates for the industry year-round, promoting the benefits of our produce and support legislation and regulation that bolster the blueberry industry across the country.”
NABC also took to Capitol Hill in partnership with Clif, Mondelēz, and belVita, handing out blueberry stress balls and breakfast bars. In one hour, 500 stress balls and over 1,000 Clif and belVita bars were handed out to commuters, visitors, and congressional staff, who were also greeted by a blueberry mascot.
Click here for photos of the National Blueberry Month events.
To learn more about the blueberry industry, visit nabc.blueberry.org
About NABC: Since 1965, the North American Blueberry Council (NABC) has been the voice of the blueberry industry in the U.S. and Canada. NABC’s members represent approximately 70% of the North American highbush blueberry crop. NABC was instrumental in the establishment of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHABC), a federal agriculture research and promotion program with independent oversight from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).