The U.S. Apple Association (USApple) Monday announced its class of 2018 Young Apple Leaders (YAL). Eighteen accomplished and aspiring young men and women were selected by the organization to join with, and learn from, USApple leaders as they advocate on important issues impacting growers and apple-related agribusiness.
The 2018 Young Apple Leaders include:
- Alicia Abendroth, Abendroth’s Apple Ridge Orchard, Wolcott, NY
- Tyler Baker, Yakima Fruit and Cold Storage Co., Ellensburg, WA
- Beth Brown, Orchard Dale Fruit Co., Waterport, NY
- Aaron Coffman, S.A.K. Enterprises, Broadway, VA
- Brett Grobe, Grobe Fruit Farm, Elyria, OH
- Anne Joudrey, Apple Hill Orchard, Mansfield, OH
- Kayla Lawrence, Richards Fruit Market, LLC, Middletown, VA
- Mattie Leid, Hess Brothers Fruit Company, Lancaster, PA
- Danijel Lolic, Rice Fruit Company, Gardners, PA
- Dan Norman, Klenk Orchards Inc., Sparta, MI
- Kylie Monson, Monson Fruit Company, Selah, WA
- Daniel Prairie, Prairie’s Orchard, Malone, NY
- Tyler Jack Roper, Honeybear Marketing, Elgin, MN
- Mauro Sitio, Foreman Fruit, Wenatchee, WA
- Daisy Stickel, Matson Fruit, Selah, WA
- Katie Vargas, Great Lakes Ag Labor Services LLC, Sparta, MI
- Nathan Wash, Pheasant Orchards, Inc., Soap Lake, WA
- Sarah Lott Zost, Bonnie Brae Fruit Farms, Inc., York Springs, PA
The 2018 class will hit the ground running on March 15 as part of USApple’s Capitol Hill Day. Joining USApple members from across the nation, the young leaders will meet with members of Congress to discuss hard-hitting issues affecting the future of the apple industry.
“It is a critical time in the apple industry as growers continue to work toward solutions on trade, labor reform, ever-increasing regulations, and production costs,” said Jim Bair, president and CEO of USApple. “What is being debated and decided in Washington today will have long-term implications for the current and next generation of apple producers. That’s why it’s crucial these young leaders start putting their shoulder to the wheel.”
The YAL program equips the next generation of American apple growers and leaders with an understanding of federal regulatory and legislative apple issues, and provides an opportunity to learn from peers and apple leaders from around the country. Young apple growers and individuals in apple-related businesses who are at the start of their career through the age of 35 are eligible to participate. Now in its ninth year, the YAL program has been a great success in grooming future leaders. Several previous participants have already worked their way up through committees and onto the USApple Board of Directors.
Sponsors of the 2018 YAL program include: Domex Superfresh Growers, Farm Credit East, Knouse Foods, Michigan Apples, New York Apple Sales, Inc., Ohio Apples, Northwest Farm Credit Services, and Yakima Fresh.