The 2018 Almond Leadership Program class of 18 represents nearly every aspect of the industry, from growers, pest control advisors and food safety specialists to a staffing consultant, a marketing brand and sales expert and a grant writer.
Members of this year’s class include: Alec Pacini, JSS Almonds; Andrew Baker, Pacific Coast Sales; Anthony Sagariballa, The Almond Company; Cristina Davis, PrideStaff Financial; Clayton Whitehead, Fruit Growers Supply; Brad Larsen, Olam Farming Inc.; Erin Clem, ADM – Golden Peanut and Tree Nuts; Blaine Salisbury, South Valley Farms; Jack McCarthy, Gold Leaf Farming; Jon Collison, Yara North America; Josh Krueger, Semios; Kelli Evans, Evans Farming; Mackenzie Souza, JKB Energy; Mark Sherfy, D & J Farm Management, LLC; Micah Keith, Blue Diamond Growers; Nas Chaudhary, Chaudhary Almond Ranch; Sullivan Grosz, Pearson Realty; Timothy DeGroot, Gar Tootelian Inc.
Participants will spend the next year in a structured program that will prepare them to become leaders not just within the California Almond industry, but in their communities, as well. This year’s class has pledged to raise $20,000 for California Future Farmers of America (FFA) scholarships.
The class will complete specialized training in a wide variety of topic areas, such as food safety, biomass utilization, honey extraction and nutrition research. Over the course of the year, they will have hands-on experiences in nurseries, almond orchards, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) research facility and other venues.
Sponsored by the Almond Board of California (ABC), the leadership program has graduated more than 100 participants as it celebrates its tenth anniversary.