The Maitland-based Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association is introducing its newest class of potential industry leaders participating in its Emerging Leader Development Program.

FFVA plans to formally introduce the class at its convention Sept. 22-24 in Amelia Island, Fla.

Started in 2011, the program identifies and develops promising workers from major growing and packing operations as well as allied industries including crop protection, fertilizer and finance.

The program works to give graduates the knowledge and tools needed to improve the sustainability and economic viability of specialty crop agriculture and strengthen involvement industry organizations, according to the release.

“We’re so pleased with our third class,” Sonia Tighe, program director and the executive director of the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation, which administers the program, said in the release. “It’s an outstanding group, and we’re looking forward to the activities of the coming year.”

The yearlong program includes visiting state legislators in Tallahassee, Fla., seminars on industry issues as well as tours of Florida and California growing and production regions.

The new class: Cathy Atchley of AgXplore, Ryan Atwood of Keyplex; Elton Baldy of Bayer CropScience; Daniel Cavazos of Veg Pro International Inc., Sherrington, Quebec, Sam Glucksman of Glades Crop Care; Jeff Goodale of A. Duda & Sons Inc., Oviedo, Fla.; Jamie Lang of Farm Credit of Central Florida; Arby Lipman of Lipman, Immokalee, Fla.; Clayton Norman of DuPont Crop Protection; Geoff Roe of Wm. G. Roe & Sons Inc., Winter Haven, Fla.; Matt Stacey of Crop Production Services; and Jordan Theis of Prudential Ag Investments.