Actress Amy Smart is the spokesperson for USA Pears ( USA Pears )

Portland, Ore.-based USA Pears kicked off the start of the 2018 harvest season with actress Amy Smart’s new role as official spokesperson for the group.

“Knowing where my food comes from is one of my highest priorities, and when I visited the Pacific Northwest to see the harvest for myself I was incredibly inspired by the pride and dedication of the pear growers,” Smart said in a news release. “Harvest time is a special time, and I’m so happy I could see the start of this year’s pear crop before it made its way to stores.” 

Smart will be working with USA Pears throughout the 2018-19 pear season to create videos promoting pears and offering viewers inspired recipes and tips how to enjoy pears.

The videos — designed for social media, digital ads and retail use — will correspond to the seasonal promotional themes of Hand-picked Harvest, Holiday Inspiration, and nutrition, according to the release. 

“We are excited to share our work with Amy Smart with consumers and retailers. Along with our other promotional efforts throughout the season, the videos with Amy Smart will show our commitment to engaging our audience and growing the demand for pears, as well as our ongoing work bringing enthusiasm to the category,” Kathy Stephenson, marketing communications director of Pear Bureau Northwest, said in the release.

The endorsement support was partially paid for by a Specialty Crop Block Grant from the Oregon Department of Agriculture on behalf of the Oregon State pear growers.

Crop outlook

With harvest starting in early August for bartlett and starkrimson pears, the Northwest pear harvest season will extend through late September with the rest of the crop, including anjou, bosc and comice varieties.

The Northwest pear crop is expected to yield 20.2 million standard boxes (44-pound) of pears from Washington’s Wenatchee and Yakima districts and Oregon’s Mid-Columbia and Medford districts, according to USA Pears.