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King, Collins co-sponsor senate resolution to make July National Blueberry Month

The resolution includes a tribute to the Wabanaki people, who first cultivated the crop.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution designating the month of July as "National Blueberry Month." 

The resolution was co-sponsored by Maine's senators Susan Collins and Angus King.  

The resolution acknowledges the importance of blueberries to the U.S. agricultural economy and chronicles the history of the blue fruit. 

Senators Collins and King made sure to include Maine's indigenous Wabanaki people, who first grew the crop. 

“The wild blueberry industry has been an integral part of our state’s economy and culture for centuries,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “Our bipartisan resolution recognizes the blueberry industry’s many important contributions to our state, particularly as Maine wild blueberry producers recover from the tremendous strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to work to ensure a bright future for wild blueberry growers across Maine.”

Senators Collins and King have successfully worked together in the past to include the Maine blueberry industry and its workers in pandemic relief and trade efforts. 

During the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture added blueberry growers to the $16 billion in agriculture assistance provided by the CARES Act after the Maine senators argued for inclusion. 

In addition, the Maine delegation implored the U.S. Trade Representative to strengthen trade protections for Maine’s wild blueberry producers and frozen blueberry processors.

In 2019, the Maine delegation sent a letter urging the USDA to include the wild blueberry industry in the USDA's Market Facilitation Program, which provides financial aid to agricultural producers affected by China’s retaliatory tariffs.