U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council Awarded $1.3 Million from Regional Ag Promotion Program

Clint ThompsonBlueberries

The U.S. Highbush Council (USHBC) has been awarded $1.3 million from the U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture’s Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP) to expand export opportunities for domestic blueberries.

“We applaud Secretary Tom Vilsack, Undersecretary Alexis Taylor and the Senate Agriculture Committee for their visionary leadership in creating the RAPP program,” said Kasey Cronquist, president of USHBC. “Their support for expanding global markets is invaluable to the agricultural industry, and this allocation will undoubtedly foster growth, innovation and sustainability for our blueberry growers as we work to carry out our vision to empower the industry to make blueberries the world’s favorite fruit.”

USDA’s RAPP announced $300 million in funding in its first year to support eligible projects that enable exporters to break into new markets and increase market share in growth markets. The USHBC was one of several non-profit U.S. agricultural trade organizations, non-profit State Regional Trade Groups (SRTGs), U.S. agricultural cooperatives and state agencies awarded funds from RAPP. 

Secretary Vilsack announced the Notice of Funding Opportunity at the President’s Export Council, in October 2023 as part of a bipartisan request from the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. In total, RAPP is a $1.2 billion program made possible through the Commodity Credit Corporation, which will be made available over five years.