Blueberries have become Georgia’s leading fruit crop. Their production, at 96 million pounds this year, outpaces peaches and has a $1 billion impact on the economy.

But what to do with all those berries?

Alma farmer Shawn Davis, vice president of Southern Press and Packing, is doing his part to increase sales and develop new markets and products for the blueberry, from fruit to juice to hull.

The UGA Small Business Development Center helped him obtain financing for expansion efforts.

A good friend to the university, Davis partners with the University of Georgia’s Athletic Association to fund an internship in sports nutrition.

“We paid for the internship to look at ways to provide healthier, more nutritious products for the athletes at UGA,” he said. “The focus is to come up with ways to understand how nutritious, healthy blueberry products may help with inflammation. It’s not a hard research project, yet, but they are feeding the juice to the athletes and logging the data.”

Learn more about the SBDC at www.georgiasbdc.org.