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Michigan cherries and blueberries considered for state fruit, why not apples? [Poll]

Matt Cardy, Getty Images

Yes, there are more important things to discuss.

That’s not going to stop us.

Which fruit should be Michigan’s state fruit?

Selecting a state fruit could prove to be more important than the choice of state bird, state tree, and others. A selection of state fruit could provide an economic boost to a crop which is already bringing millions of dollars to Michigan.

Senate Bill 259 would make cherries Michigan’s state fruit.

Senate Bill 515 would make blueberries Michigan’s state fruit.

The debate over cherries and blueberries is lighthearted for most. The debate has also provided an educational opportunity, giving many students a firsthand look at how our government works.

Fox 47 in Lansing talked to Senator Dave Hildenbrand (R-Grand Rapids):

“We deal with a lot of issues and this is more about the kids and the students, to give them a good lesson,” said Hildenbrand. “They’re the future of our state and to bring them to Lansing and the capitol to have this experience is invaluable. So we took an hour of our time to honor them and help support them and their education and learning.”

I love Michigan cherries and Michigan blueberries and the hard workers who bring these delicious foods to our table.

But what about apples?

It’s not that I’m sour on cherries or blueberries. I’d just like to see apples get a chance.

Michigan leads the nation in blueberry production. We made nearly one-third of all blueberries eaten in our country in 2011. Blueberries contributed $118.7 million to Michigan’s economy in 2011.

Michigan also leads the nation in cherry production with 70% – 75% of tart cherries and about 20% of sweet cherries. In 2011, total cherry production was valued around $65 million with festivals and more also contributing to Michigan’s economy.

Michigan ranks third in apple production behind Washington and New York. Michigan apples were valued at $194 million in 2011 and had a total economic impact of $800 million.  

Michigan’s apple crop is huge and has room for growth, both good reasons to consider giving it a boost as Michigan’s state fruit.

How do you like them apples?

Follow Matt Milhouse on Facebook and Twitter.  Listen to 100.5 The River weekdays, 10 a.m.– 3 p.m.

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