David Turcot is the Quebec Produce Marketing Association’s first year-long intern.
Outgoing QPMA president Robert Beauregard, director general of Boucherville, Quebec-based produce importer Agri-Mondo Inc., initiated the program as part of his theme, Cultivating the Next Generation.
Turcot, 28, runs the packing plant for Ferme A. & R. Turcot SENC, based in Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan, just north of Montreal.
The family farm has grown carrots and cabbage for more than 30 years and sells to major Quebec chains.
“I’ve learned a lot from my father and uncle,” said Turcot, “but I’ve always been known as ‘son of.’ It’s time to make my own mark.”
Turcot will attend QPMA board meetings, take part in working groups and special events and explore different sectors of the produce industry, from growers and packinghouses to chain store warehouses and buying offices.
Beauregard said he was impressed by the quality of the 12 young people, aged 18 to 35, who applied for the new position.
Applicants must be secondary school graduates who’ve worked in the produce industry at least three years and had at least one year of leadership or decision-making experience.
Along with reference letters, they must write a letter introducing themselves and explain why they want to join the program.
Turcot said he’s looking forward to making contacts in all sectors of the produce industry.
He will report on his experience and what he learns at the annual general meeting of QPMA’s 2013 convention in Montreal.