Fall Creek Farm & Nursery has signed on as the exclusive sponsor of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council’s Blueberry Leadership Program.  USHBC said this gives fellows an in-depth look into up-and-coming genetic innovations within the industry.  Fall Creek Farm & Nursery is a blueberry genetics and nursery company, with sites in the U.S., Mexico, Peru, Spain, and the Netherlands.  Fall Creek has been a longtime supporter of USHBC and the North American Blueberry Council.


The Blueberry Leadership Program launched back in March of 2022, and looks to help future leaders in the industry grow their leadership skills, connect with innovative thought leaders and improve their industry intelligence.  Those included in the program’s first class: 


  • Christina Butler: MBG Marketing 
  • Gonzalo de Elizalde: Driscoll’s
  • Ernesto Diaz: Berry Brothers
  • Anna Jesse: Forest Hills Farms Inc.
  • Karan Kohli: Mastronardi Produce
  • Scott Mainord: WECO 
  • Luke McCreesh: California Giant Berry Farms
  • Jennifer Pulcipher: North Bay Produce Inc.
  • Darren Sinn: Berry Fresh LLC
  • Micah Weiss: Fall Creek Farm & Nursery Inc.


“Some of the topics that we're focusing on is the innovation in tech within the blueberry space and advancements in the health and nutrition space, that's going to have an impact on our industry, and then also doing a little bit of the skills development side of things with presentation and media training," said Vice President of Education and Engagement Amanda Griffin.


These 10 Blueberry Leadership Program fellows started taking trips to the CuliNex Innovation Center and Microsoft FarmBeats in Seattle back in June.  The fellows also took a trip to Nashville for the Blueberry Summit in October.  Leadership students will expect more professional development trips before finally graduating at the 2023 Blueberry Summit.  Griffin said they may also look into recruiting recent college graduates in future class selections, further building their alumni network.


"The overall goal of the selection committee is to select a diverse class of leaders that come from different backgrounds, different locations, and hold different roles within the blueberry industry, within their companies or on the farm,” Griffin explained. “Making sure that you get folks that have both different roles from different growing regions and different backgrounds.” 


Click Here to learn more about the Blueberry Leadership Program.


If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-9791, or e-mail glenn.vaagen@townsquaremedia.com 

More From PNW Ag Network