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Mike Klackle, a well-known figure in the blueberry industry, has joined the sales force at Townsend Farms, where he will be involved with fresh berry sales.

"I am 56 years young and feel like a kid in a candy store," he told The Produce News in early March.

Townsend Farms, located in Fairview, OR, which handles a full berry manifest, is the state's largest grower and processor of red raspberries and strawberries.

Mr. Klackle said that the company is entering a growth spurt. "Townsend Farms is a well-established, vertically integrated organization. They're very dynamic."

The company has already recognized the larger prospects of the fresh market and has constructed a new state-of-the-art fresh packing facility in anticipation of the 2009 fresh berry season in the Pacific Northwest.

Mr. Klackle has been involved with the fresh blueberry industry since 1990. Prior to joining Townsend Farms, he handled blueberry sales for Curry & Co. in Brooks, OR, and Global Berry Farms in Naples, FL.