Friday, November 15, 2019

Blackberry growers and industry stakeholders we need your help!

The blackberry industry has changed dramatically in the past 15 years. The research and Extension community wants to be proactive in meeting the needs of this growing industry. Dr. Margaret Worthington, University of Arkansas, is heading up a USDA funded project that is gathering the concerns and priorities of growers and stakeholders. A first step is to collect information in the survey below. The following  paragraphs are from a letter that Margaret has asked us to share. Please take some time during these next few weeks to fill out this short survey. -GF

You are invited to participate in a short 10 minute survey of U.S. blackberry growers and related industry professionals (nurseries, supplies, shippers, marketers, industry associations etc.) in order to help us improve awareness of the current status and needs of the U.S. blackberry industry. The data from this survey will help determine priorities for future research and breeding efforts. This survey is funded by a USDA-NIFA Specialty Crops Research Initiative planning project that seeks to 1) assess national blackberry production, identify challenges, and predict future trends and 2) engage stakeholders from diverse production regions to identify priorities for breeding, research, and extension.

Your answers to these questions will be kept confidential to the extent allowed by law and University policy and will not be reported in a way that identifies you or your specific farm or organization. Patterns and themes across groups of blackberry industry stakeholders will be reported to help identify gaps or bottlenecks where additional resources could benefit the blackberry community. You must be at least 18 years old to participate in this research. Participation is completely voluntary; you have the right to say no, or to change your mind at any time and withdraw. You may choose not to answer specific questions or to stop participating at any time. Participants who complete the survey before February 1, 2020 can chose to participate in a random drawing of three Amazon gift cards (one valued at $50 and two at $25) at the end of the survey. 

For questions about the survey research or assistance in accessing and completing the survey, please contact the project director, Margaret Leigh Worthington,, 479-575-2122.  English and Spanish versions of this survey are available on paper. Please email or call Margaret Worthington to request a hard copy of the survey in English or Spanish. 

Stakeholder involvement is critical for the success of this project.  Thank you in advance for your participation!  

Here is a link to the survey: 

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