The state’s blueberry producers approved a referendum establishing a Michigan Blueberry Research and Education Program effective May 1. This program will be administered by a new Michigan Blueberry Commission, which will be compromised of seven Michigan blueberry producers appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder. The program will be fully funded by assessments on blueberries with a maximum assessment of up to three-tenths of a cent per pound of blueberries sold.
The program was proposed by blueberry producers to help improve the economic position and competitiveness of Michigan’s blueberry industry by supporting research. The goal for this program is to keep Michigan’s blueberry industry on the cutting edge of new technology, as well as to implement new research keeping the state’s farmers economically competitive in the growing world market.
Of the 82 ballots received, 61 producers voted yes (74%) representing over 36 million pounds (73%), and 21 producers voted no (26%) representing over 13 million pounds (27%).
For the program to be adopted, more than 50% of the producer votes cast and more than 50% of the total production amount represented on the cast ballot must approve the proposal. The referendum was conducted Jan. 9-20.
To review a copy of the Director’s Order and the Michigan Blueberry Research & Education Program, visit michigan.gov/mdard.