Investing in leadership for the future

10/08/2013 12:30:00 PM
Lisa Lochridge

Eleven young agricultural professionals graduated from FFVA’s Emerging Leader Development Program during our recently concluded 70th annual convention in Naples.

The graduation capped off a year of intensive seminars, meetings with legislators, and travel to see a variety of production practices in Florida and California.

What’s more, the 12 members of Class 3 were introduced to industry and began their yearlong program.

Class 2 members were Jonathan Allen, R.C. Hatton; Nick Basore, TKM Bengard Farms; Ian Bessell, Birko Corp.; Lee Ann Hinton Coleman, Hinton Farms Produce; Thomas Dalton, Farm Credit of Central Florida; Carleton Johns, Tater Farms; Jessica Kerstein, Lipman Produce; Amber Kosinsky, Wish Farms; Tom Mitchell, Riverfront Packing; Derek Orsenigo, Grower’s Management Inc.; and Joby Sherrod, A. Duda & Sons.

Comprehensive program

To get an idea of how comprehensive the leadership program is, it’s necessary to rewind to 12 months ago, when Class 2 was introduced to industry leaders at the 2012 convention.

There, class members got to know one another, networked with others in Florida agriculture and heard the latest on critical issues facing our industry.

After meeting in November 2012 at FFVA's Maitland headquarters to learn about the association’s history, mission and service to its members, the group spent a busy three days in January in South Florida touring various ag operations.

From sugar cane to snap beans to leafy greens and more, the group was hosted by FFVA members, who included alumni from the leadership program's inaugural class.

Stops included U.S. Sugar’s cane fields, A. Duda and Sons' citrus groves, Southern Gardens' juice processing plant, the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative's sugar mill, Hundley Farms' radish fields, TKM Bengard Farms' lettuce production and processing facility, R.C. Hatton's green bean and sweet corn packing lines, Roth Farms' vegetable fields, Lipman's round and grape tomato production, and Grower's Management's leafy green production.

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