Almond Leadership Program kicks off again27 Feb 2015
Fourteen participants have begun their yearlong journey to almond expertise with a state-of-the-industry presentation by Almond Board of California (ABC) President and CEO Richard Waycott. Members of the seventh Almond Leadership Program class heard that the California Almond industry plays a key role in California agriculture, providing leadership on critical issues affecting growers and food […]
Fourteen participants have begun their yearlong journey to almond expertise with a state-of-the-industry presentation by Almond Board of California (ABC) President and CEO Richard Waycott. Members of the seventh Almond Leadership Program class heard that the California Almond industry plays a key role in California agriculture, providing leadership on critical issues affecting growers and food processors, with an ethos of continuous improvement and best management practices. Almond Leadership Program participants and their peers will be the stewards who will take farming to its next phase of efficiency, productivity and environmental responsibility.
The 12-month program offers both learning opportunities and challenges to the members. They will take part in 15 events, covering topics that range from almond production practices, such as a rootstock budding demonstration at Burchell Nursery in March, to almond quality and food safety seminars in the spring and summer, tours of almond harvest and processing facilities in the fall, and seminars on marketing, nutrition, technical and regulatory affairs and production and environmental issues throughout the year.
Participants are required to job-shadow a volunteer mentor from within the industry, and to write a paper describing this experience. Graduates of the program will serve as nonvoting members at selected Almond Board committee meetings for one year, and are encouraged to continue their involvement in the industry afterward, as did leadership graduate Daniel Bays of Patterson. A third-generation almond grower who spent one year as an observer on the Production Research Committee, Bays was later chosen to fill a coveted alternate position on the committee.
As a way to give back to their peers, mentors and the California Almond industry, participants design and carry out a special project, which is presented at the Almond Industry Conference in December, their final event of the program.
Since the Almond Leadership Program was established in 2009, more than 100 men and women have participated.
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