ORONO — The Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine has a new executive director.

Nancy McBrady, who’s the first woman to hold the position, will be responsible for promoting the wild blueberry industry grow and for advocating for the industry before the state legislature and in Washington. She’ll also play an important role in securing funding to invest in the University of Maine Cooperative Extension research and development programs.

Maine is the nation’s largest producer of wild blueberries and has more than 500 growers and processors.

The blueberry crop has more than quadrupled since 1980, from 20 million pounds to an average 86 million pounds. According to a 2007 study, the industry supports 2,500 jobs and a $63 million payroll.

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