ABOUT our board
I have been farming Michigan Blueberries for over 15 years. I started in 2006 working for my family farm Reenders Blueberry Farms. There I learned how to fix machines, run harvesters, manage employees, and much more. Over the past few years I joined the MBBAC because I saw that our industry needed a voice at the table when it came to issues bigger than just one farm.
I am grateful to be working for the MBBAC in moving the needle in the right direction so Michigan Blueberries are the focus of every issue moving across the table. As an industry we need to work together, and make sure our industry is here for the next generations.
Our 60-acre Blueberry farm is in Bangor MI. My wife (Angela) and I have been married for 39 years and together we have a son, daughter-in-law, and daughter.
I began farming blueberries with my father-in-law in 2004. My wife & I purchased our farm in 2015 which bordered 35 acres of blueberries that we raised with my father-in-law and formed Heritage Blueberries, LLC partnership. I serve on the Michigan Farmers Union Board and represented Michigan Blueberry Growers as a delegate in Savannah, GA for their National Convention on March 1st, 2020.
I have a strong desire to work hard for all family farming operations in the USA, but of course Michigan Blueberry farming is my passion. I want to see the Michigan Blueberry Industry recover what we have lost over the past several years.
I became involved in the Blueberry Industry at age 16 when I started working at my future Father in Law’s Blueberry Farm. Twenty-one years later, Dave and I started Crossroads Blueberry Farm with 120 acres. It was a “Crossroads” in our life. We are now farming 700 acres. We pack fresh, process, and operate a U-Pick and Retail Store.
I have served as a Delegate and on the Policy Development board for Farm Bureau. I currently lead a Small Group for our church, Harvest of Spring Lake.
I have served on the board of MBBAC for several years. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” (an African Proverb). To go far in this industry, a united voice is needed and I look forward to continuing and seeing progress made though our united voices being heard.
As a third-generation blueberry grower, I have had the pleasure of growing up with blueberries at DeGrandchamps Blueberry Farm in South Haven. After graduating from Michigan State University, I briefly worked in the grocery industry until I realized how important it is to me to help carry on the family legacy. I returned to the farm full time in 2019 and I manage the packing operations and Human Resources. I am excited to serve on the MBBAC and help other blueberry growers so they can carry their own legacies into the future.
I grew up in and around blueberries the majority of my life starting with picking blueberries early on for spending money and working in a packing shed as a teenager. I’ve worked for True Blue Farms since 2008 as an executive assistant, Human Resources, procurement, insurance administration, and general operations administration.
I’ve been heavily involved with many industry organizations including serving as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Michigan Frozen Food Packers Association and am the non-voting assistant to the Secretary/Treasurer of the Michigan Blueberry Commission since its 2017 inception. I believe in the importance of the small family farm and happy to work alongside all of you to fervently fight for the longevity and success of the blueberry industry.
While there has been farming generations ago in my family history, my husband and I are very new to farming and blueberries, having purchased a small blueberry farm on CR 380 in 2017 from Steve and Kate Otto. I grew up in Indiana and attended Purdue University obtaining a degree in microbiology and doing graduate work in genetics. I graduated from Valparaiso University School of Law and was a partner at a Chicago law firm specializing in intellectual property law (patents and trademarks). I recently retired after 33 years behind a desk and am now a "recovering lawyer". I have been married to my husband, Randy, for 33 years and we have one son, Jason, a recent graduate from Michigan State who is currently Director of Broadcasting and play-by-play voice for the Odessa Jackalopes hockey team in Odessa, Texas.
I look forward to working with everyone to raise awareness of Michigan blueberries, work on how to most effectively compete with foreign imports, and consider new potential market expansion for our blueberries.
Grace Norris is an Immigrant Asian American. She is a former international businesswoman, former interpreter, former business owner of a Project Management training and consulting company, former instructor of business management and practice, and a former university administrator.
Grace Norris’ academic achievements are a Master’s degree in Education and a BA in Economics.
Grace Norris has become a new blueberry farmer in Covert as of the summer of 2021.
Uriel Botello has worked in the blueberry industry for over 15 years and has a strong agricultural background that spans back three generations. The majority of his time has been dedicated to working with West Michigan blueberry growers. His pre and post season experience, varies from spraying herbicides, pruning blueberry bushes between the months of March – May, and October-December and everything in between. During harvest time he coordinates various hand harvesting groups ranging from 15-300 people, across West Michigan and North Carolina with the most recent addition of Georgia. In 2018 he started a workforce agency called Botello Harvesting LLC to compensate for the labor demand. Since then, his agency has helped provide farmers in various states with the right labor force needed to maintain and run their farms.
Mark Davis is the Managing Partner of Jawor Bros. Blueberries, a 1,000+ acre fully vertically-integrated blueberry farm located in Ravenna, Michigan. Mark is also the Founder and Managing Partner of Commonwealth Ag, an investment management firm focused on the acquisition, aggregation and optimization of a geographically diverse portfolio of North American permanent crop farmland. Before getting involved in Agribusiness in 2012, Mark spent almost twenty-five years in financial services and capital markets as well as consulting and strategic advisory. Mark is a graduate of the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, where he played varsity football for four years, and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC - Chapel Hill.