Leader Development Program Seeks Applicants

Josh McGillEducation

Applications are open until June 16 for those interested in being part of Class 13 of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA) Emerging Leader Development Program (ELDP).


ELDP, administered by the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation, was launched in 2011 to identify and develop leaders to be strong advocates for Florida agriculture.

Program sessions provide a wealth of information about the many issues facing agriculture and equip members to communicate about agriculture. Ultimately, ELDP graduates can get involved to strengthen the future of specialty crop agriculture and grassroots engagement in FFVA and other industry organizations.

The yearlong program starts in October. It includes meetings with legislators and state officials in Tallahassee, visits to specialty crop production areas in Florida and California, and seminars provided by FFVA staff members and other experts. View the Class 13 schedule here

The suggested age for participation in the program is between 25 to 45. Applicants must be part of an FFVA member’s family or their company and must be working in or pursuing a career in Florida specialty crop agriculture.

More information about ELDP, including an application form and written agreement for Class 13, is available at the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation website. The application form and written agreement form should be filled out and sent to Sonia.Tighe@ffva.com.

Members of ELDP Class 12, who began the program in 2022, are:

  • Thomas Addison, H & A Farms, Mount Dora
  • Renee L. Buxton, Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, Belle Glade
  • David Dyer, Corteva Agriscience, Bradenton
  • Russ Fraleigh, Florida Coast Equipment, Royal Palm Beach
  • Josh Hancock, R.C. Hatton, Royal Palm Beach
  • Brett Helvey, Diamond R. Fertilizer, Cape Coral
  • Lamar Jahna, Seminis Vegetable Seeds, Avon Park
  • Hernan Martinez, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Clewiston
  • Mac Metcalf, Syngenta Crop Protection, Oviedo
  • Jeremy Nipper, Everglades Equipment Group, Tampa
  • Todd Pirtle, Syngenta Vegetable Seeds, Homestead
  • Matthew Reichenbach, Ferris Farms, Inc., Floral City
  • Erin Parke Watson, Parkesdale Farms, Dover
  • Joel Whitehead, Wish Farms, Winter Haven

Source: FFVA

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