Young Apple Leaders: We don’t just grow apples; we lobby for better policy programs for farmers
When it comes to apples, it’s one thing to grow and sell them. But it’s another thing to try and improve the industry – not only for farmers but consumers as well. Enter: Young Apple Leaders.
Young Apple Leaders or YALs are chosen by the U.S. Apple Association annually to join with and learn from US Apple leaders and mentors for a one-year term.
Our own Jeff Givens is a YAL for 2021. In his term, he will be a part of a program that includes:
- Advocacy training
- Industry workshops
- Member events
- Virtual meetings
- Hands-on experiences (if conditions permit)
Givens and other Young Apple Leaders will also be paired with a mentor for career and leadership guidance. Last year, Fresh Forward Farms was represented by Alex Buck in the program.
“I’m excited to represent Fresh Forward Farms in this program,” Givens said. “I’m looking forward to a year of growth, knowledge and increased opportunities for us and our partner growers.”
The goal of the YAL program is to help the next generation of apple farmers and leaders with the tools they need to grow. The program provides the Young Apple Leaders with a solid base of understanding on federal regulatory and legislative apple issues and in addition, it opens doors by introducing them to peers and other leaders so they can learn and grow together.
Some of the issues facing the apple industry are: Migrant labor support (making sure workers are properly vetted and legally working) and that there are policies in place for international trade.
The program is in its 12th year and is sponsored by: Bear Mountain Orchards, California Apple Commission, CMI Orchards, Domex Superfresh Growers, Hudson River Fruit Distributors, Michigan Apple Committee, New York Apple Association, New York Apple Sales, Inc., Ohio Apple Marketing Program, Rice Fruit Company, TreeTop, and United Apple Sales.
At Fresh Forward, feeding families is our passion. We work with local farmers to get the best, and freshest, produce on your family’s table. Ask your favorite grocery store, farm stand or produce market to carry Fresh Forward products.
Learn more about the Fresh Forward mission here.