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Western Growers Inaugurates Next Generation of Agricultural Leaders

Western Growers Inaugurates Next Generation of Agricultural Leaders



IRVINE, CA - While personal success is important, preparing the next generation for success is an integral part of carrying on our industry’s legacy. Western Growers Association is doing its part by identifying and preparing its next generation of leaders within the fresh produce industry. The association has therefore formally inaugurated its sixth class of the Future Volunteer Leaders Program (FVLP).

Addtionally, for the first time in the program’s history, it will welcome a future leader from the state of Colorado, which became the third membership state to enter the Western Growers family in 2015.

Dave Puglia, President and Chief Executive Officer, Western Growers Association“The increasing number of FVLP alumni serving on our board of directors is testament to the value of this leadership program,” said President and CEO Dave Puglia. “This incoming class is a vibrant group, and I look forward to their participation and future industry leadership.”

Throughout the two-year program, the Future Volunteer Leaders will be able to shadow current members of the Western Growers Board of Directors during its meetings. According to a press release, the future leaders will learn about local, state, and federal issues faced by the Western fresh produce industry through the opportunity.

In the second year of the program, the Class 6 members will travel to Florida to tour agricultural operations as part of an exchange program with the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association’s Emerging Leader Development Program. The future leaders will also take part in agtech initiatives and engage in both social media efforts and media relations.

Western Growers Association formally inaugurated its sixth class of the Future Volunteer Leaders Program, adding nine new members to the program

Since the program was created in 2011, seven FVLP alumni have graduated into a seat on the Western Growers’ Board of Directors, including six who are on the current 2021-2022 board.

The next generation of industry leaders selected to join Class 6 include:

  • Phillip Adam, Innovative Produce
  • Mason Brady, Homegrown Organic Farms
  • Kristen Smith Eshaya, JV Smith Companies
  • Rocky Hampton, LIDCO
  • Tracy Jones, Booth Ranches
  • Colby Pereira, Braga Fresh Family
  • Garret Powell, Peter Rabbit Farms
  • Amber Strohauer, Strohauer Farms
  • Grant Talley, Talley Farms

Congratulations to all of those who were selected for the program. We look forward to seeing your impact on the future of the fresh produce industry.

Western Growers Association



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Western Growers Association

Since 1926, we have represented local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona and California. Our...