FOLSOM, Calif. – The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) has launched the application process for the second class of its Blueberry Leadership Program that elevates up-and-coming leaders in the blueberry industry.
The program will accept up to 10 talented, passionate professionals from across the supply chain to become the second group of fellows in the program.
The training, which is the first of its kind in the blueberry industry, is designed to help fellows grow their leadership skill set, learn from decades-long industry leaders and develop their network of connections. Professional development within the industry is a priority as members of the blueberry industry work together to make blueberries the No. 1 berry in sales volume and premium value. Fellows in the new program will lead the industry into its next period of growth.
“Our vision for this next year of the Blueberry Industry Leadership Program is to continue to engage rising leaders in the blueberry industry and equip them with the tools they need to take an active role in working toward USHBC’s bold goal of making blueberries the world’s favorite fruit,” said Amanda Griffin, USHBC vice president of engagement and education, and lead facilitator of the program. “As we embark on our second year of the program, we are reminded that the people who are blueberry industry leaders today got where they are through learning, collaboration and a drive to grow and innovate. We look forward to seeing how the next class embraces the program as it opens doors and bridges connections for their future.”
Class 2 of the leadership program will kick off in September at the Blueberry Summit in Savannah, Georgia, and continue through next year, taking an interactive approach to leadership development through hands-on training, immersive learning experiences, engagement with key industry players and exposure to the many components of the produce supply chain. Fellows will participate both virtually and in person, traveling four times over the course of the curriculum between September 2023 and September 2024, with a graduation ceremony taking place at the 2024 Blueberry Summit. To offset expenses and materials’ costs, fellows will be required to pay a $2,500 fee.
USHBC is seeking applicants who are up-and-coming leaders, hold a mid-level management position and have a minimum of five years experience in agriculture, with preference given to those who have worked in the blueberry industry. Potential fellows can visit ushbc.org/leadership to learn more and apply to the program, including application requirements and participation expectations.
Applicants will be judged on their demonstration of leadership potential, passion and commitment to the success of the blueberry industry, career relevance to the blueberry industry, professional credentials and overall fit for the program. Applicants will also be required to submit a letter of recommendation to be considered.
The deadline to apply is June 16, 2023. Applications will be reviewed and evaluated by the USHBC Industry Leadership Program Selection Committee, composed of USHBC council members and industry representatives. Top candidates will be interviewed throughout June and July.
Visit the website to learn more about getting involved with USHBC and supporting the blueberry industry.