FFVA Selects Emerging Leader Class

Ernie NeffEducation


The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA) recently announced the selection of 13 agriculture industry leaders for Class 10 of its Emerging Leader Development Program for the coming year. Class 10 members are:

  • Sherri Atwell of Feeding Florida, Tallahassee
  • Ariel Bauer of Hardee Fresh, Sebring
  • Federico Boscolo of Cultiva Farms USA, Jennings
  • Sasha Burgin of Burgin Farms, Wauchula
  • Nathan Carson of Chemical Dynamics, Plant City
  • Eric Greenhow of Optimum Equity Partners, Polk City
  • Michelle Hayes of Corteva Agriscience, Vero Beach
  • Sarah Hillard of A. Duda & Sons, Oviedo
  • Shane Mart of H&A Farms, Dade City
  • Clay Pederson of Agromillora Florida, Ocala
  • Jennifer Schaal of Dundee Citrus Growers Association, Winter Haven
  • Kelly Smekens of Bonduelle Fresh Americas, Valrico
  • Morgan Stuckert of Lipman Family Farms, Naples

Participants will begin the year-long 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.

FFVA also recently named Aaron Troyer, president of Troyer Brothers in Fort Myers, as its chair for 2020-22. David Hill, president of Southern Hill Farms in Clermont, was named vice chair. Additionally, FFVA members voted to appoint three new directors to the board: Jon Esformes of Pacific Tomato Growers, Chris Moore of Alico Inc. and Ron Mahan of Tamiami Citrus.

Source: Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association

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