Georgia blueberry growers voted recently to pay an assessment that will be used to fund research, education and promotion programs that will be coordinated by the Georgia Blueberry Commission to benefit the state's growers.

Blueberry growers will be assessed $5 per ton this year. If needed, the marketing order allows the Commission to increase the assessment up to $10 per ton. The assessment, which goes into effect April 1, was approved by 71 percent of the growers who voted in a mail referendum held Jan. 9-Feb. 10.

Members of the Georgia Blueberry Commission are: Chairman Joe Cornelius, Jr., of Manor, Vice-Chairman Steve Mullis of Alma, Russ Goodman of Homerville, Allen Miles of Baxley and David Lee of Alma. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin and Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall are the ex-officio members.

Gov. Sonny Perdue signed legislation creating the commission in May of 2008.