FOLSOM, Calif., Jan. 19, 2023 – A renowned blueberry researcher and an organization focused on preserving the history of the blueberry industry were recently honored with prestigious awards from the North American Blueberry Council (NABC) for their years’ long efforts to support the industry. Gerard W. Krewer earned the Duke Galletta Award that recognizes excellence in blueberry horticultural research; and the Whitesbog Preservation Trust earned the Alex Wetherbee Award that recognizes outstanding contributions to the blueberry industry in marketing and promotion.
“It was a pleasure to recognize the work of a blueberry industry luminary and an organization that has documented the trajectory of the industry. These awards are our way of drawing attention to Gerard and the trust’s dedication to our passionate blueberry community,” said NABC President Kasey Cronquist.
Krewer, professor emeritus at the University of Georgia, is renowned in the blueberry industry, having worked as a fruit crop specialist at the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in peaches, strawberries, muscadine grapes and blueberries since 1983. Throughout his career, he collaborated with University of Florida and other universities, and has consulted for farms extensively worldwide.
His dedication to the blueberry industry stems from his scientific curiosity and influence to determine the best outcomes for growers. Even in retirement, he continues to work closely with growers to refine horticultural practices, educate and promote further scientific research in blueberry production.
He has authored and co-authored numerous articles and scientific publications regarding blueberry cultivation and is frequently called upon as a presenter at blueberry seminars and conferences worldwide.
Whitesbog Preservation Trust has worked tirelessly to preserve the original 100-plus year old documents associated with the cultivation of the highbush blueberry. The trust and its members are dedicated to preserving, interpreting and publicizing the history of the blueberry. Most recently, the group published Images of America: Whitesbog, the first book dedicated to the history of Whitesbog, the birthplace of the Highbush Blueberry.
The book highlights the very nexus of the blueberry business through the storytelling of Elizabeth C. White and her tireless dedication to the market success of blueberries and features never-before-seen photos of early stages of blueberry cultivation, along with primary source documents of the work.
It also raises awareness of the diverse background of blueberry cultivation by highlighting women’s history, science history, Pinelands culture and the multicultural pickers who work in the industry.
NABC honors blueberry industry standouts with the two awards each year at its fall conference. Nominations for 2023 will open in the summer.
About the North American Blueberry Council
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). Learn more at nabcblues.org.