Sep 1, 2021Blueberry farm operators to be inducted into Michigan Farmers Hall of Fame
For over 30 years, Dennis and Shelly Hartmann of Grand Junction, Michigan, have been involved in the agricultural industry.
They currently own 368 acres and rent an additional 130 acres at their farm in Van Buren County. Their blueberry operation, known as True Blue Farms, was established in 1990. They have formed 10 subsidiary companies in the years since, one of which being the Blueberry Store in South Haven.
On Sept. 11, the Hartmanns will be inducted into the Michigan Farmers Hall of Fame.
According to the Hall of Fame, the Hartmann’s operation is vertically organized, encompassing the entire supply chain (planting, growing, processing, packaging, freezing, and distribution to wholesalers and retail stores like Walmart), as well as equipment design and maintenance. They are also involved in producing blueberry products for their retail store and catalog sales. True Blue Farms is now one of the largest growers in North America, producing and marketing millions of pounds of premium quality blueberries annually.
Dennis and Shelly Hartmann have been active Farm Bureau members for 30 years. A third-generation blueberry farmer, Dennis has been an industry advisor and leader on multiple farm operations, including planning, budgeting and processing.
Shelly Hartmann was a contributor the book “Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneurial Soul”, featured as a guest speaker for the e-Women Conference in Dallas, and has graced the cover of Chicago City Women.
Shelly Hartmann was recently elected as the first female chairperson of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, a 21-year-old organization, which today represents some 2,500 growers, packers and importers in North and South America.
Photo at top: Dennis and Shelly Hartmann, front, are shown with daughter Kara, and her husband, Jamie, who now are part of True Blue Farms’ operations.