Columbia Fruit Farms has been named the New Jersey Blueberry Grower of the Year.
The Vegetable Growers Association of New Jersey presented the award to Hammonton, N.J.-based Columbia Feb. 6 at the New Jersey State Agricultural Convention in Atlantic City, according to a news release from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.
Columbia, which grows 400 acres of blueberries, is overseen by the fourth generation of the DiMeo family, which began farming in Hammonton in 1910.
Columbia ships fresh-market blueberries primarily under the Top Crop brand.
The company once known as DiMeo Bros. is now run by Anthony DiMeo Jr. and William DiMeo Jr., who are teaching three members of the next generation about the business.
Once a grower of peaches, apples, strawberries, squash, sweet corn, tomatoes and other crops, Columbia switched to blueberry production only in 2002.