Oct 1, 2020
Next class of emerging leaders picked by Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association

The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA) has selected 13 up-and-coming agriculture industry leaders for Class 10 of our Emerging Leader Development Program for the coming year.

According to a news release, Class 10 members are:

Sherri Atwell, Feeding Florida, Tallahassee

Ariel Bauer, Hardee Fresh, Sebring

Federico Boscolo, Cultiva Farms USA, Jennings

Sasha Burgin, Burgin Farms, Wauchula

Nathan Carson, Chemical Dynamics, Plant City

Eric Greenhow, Optimum Equity Partners, Polk City

Michelle Hayes, Corteva Agriscience, Vero Beach

Sarah Hillard, A. Duda & Sons, Oviedo

Shane Mart, H&A Farms, Dade City

Clay Pederson, Agromillora Florida, Ocala

Jennifer Schaal, Dundee Citrus Growers Association, Winter Haven

Kelly Smekens, Bonduelle Fresh Americas, Valrico

Morgan Stuckert, Lipman Family Farms, Naples

Participants will begin the yearlong program in November at FFVA’s headquarters, learning about all facets of the association and its benefits and services for members. During the year ahead, they will tour farming and packing operations in Florida, meet in Tallahassee with elected officials and state leaders during the legislative session, and visit California to tour agriculture operations there. Class 10 will graduate at FFVA’s annual convention in September 2021.

Launched in 2011, the Emerging Leader Development Program identifies and develops young leaders to be strong advocates for Florida agriculture. The program sessions provide a wealth of information on the many issues facing the industry as well as tools to communicate about agriculture. Ultimately, graduates of the program can get involved to improve the sustainability of specialty crop agriculture and to strengthen grassroots engagement in FFVA and other industry organizations. With the graduation of Class 9 at FFVA’s board of directors meeting on Sept. 29, the number of participants in the program reached 100.

“It’s exciting to start another class for the Emerging Leader Development Program,” said Sonia Tighe, program director and executive director of the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation. “Class 10 has a great mix of commodities represented, which will make it more educational for them. They always learn from each other as well as the operations we visit.”

More about FFVA’s Emerging Leader Development Program can be found at http://www.floridaspecialtycropfoundation.org/leadership.

FFVA is an agricultural organization representing Florida’s producers of fruits, vegetables and other crops. Its mission is to enhance the business and competitive environment for producing and marketing fruits, vegetables and other crops. 

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