Sep 23, 2022Michigan blueberry delegation thanks Stabenow
Representatives from the Michigan blueberry industry recently met with U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, who sponsored in Congress the resolution designating July as National Blueberry Month.
Stabenow, chair of the Senate Ag Committee, met in Grand Rapids Sept. 9 with growers Rex Schultz, president of the Michigan Blueberry Advisory Council (MBAC), MBAC Vice President Chad Reenders and Michigan Blueberry Council President Dennis Vander Kooi. They presented Stabenow with a thank you letter from the North American Blueberry Council and a “July is National Blueberry Month” flag.
Stabenow sponsored this year’s resolution on National Blueberry Month, as she’s done in the past. The resolution was adopted with unanimous support from the Senate.
“Sen. Stabenow has been a tremendous supporter, not only of Blueberry Month but of Michigan blueberries in general,” Schultz said.
“It was great to visit with our blueberry growers,” Stabenow told Michigan Farm News.
“I’m so proud of the work they do to expand markets and explore opportunities for Michigan blueberries.”
Schultz said Michigan blueberry representatives had a “wonderful” meeting with Stabenow.
“She gave us some time and we were very pleased to be able to present her with that flag, as well as a thank you letter that came from the North American Blueberry Council, thanking her for her efforts and continuing support for the blueberry industry that she gives to each and every one of us and the blueberry world,” Schultz said.
Growers also discussed the H-2A visa program for temporary workers and crop insurance, “which is a big concern of ours that we’re making strides on,” Schultz said.
“She was very receptive to taking a look into it a little bit more for how Michigan is different from some of the other states, and trying to make that connection for the Michigan blueberry grower to get some of the benefits that some of the other states are getting,” he said.
—Gary Pullano, Senior Correspondent
Photo: From left, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, receives a thank you letter and flag from Michigan Blueberry Commission President Dennis Vander Kooi; Rex Schultz, president of the Michigan Blueberry Advisory Committee (MBAC) and Chad Reenders, vice president of the MBAC. Photo: Michigan Blueberry Commission