The state’s blueberry producers approved a referendum establishing a Michigan Blueberry Research & Education Program. A new Michigan Blueberry Commission (made up of seven Michigan blueberry producers appointed by Governor Snyder) will administer the program which will be funded by assessments on blueberries with a maximum assessment of up to three tenths of a cent per pound of blueberries sold.
According to Michigan Farm News, 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. Nearly 75 percent of the ballots received regarding the referendum were for its approval. The effective date of the program is May 1, 2017.