The Salinas-based California Agricultural Leadership Foundation has revealed the 20 fellows selected for the organization’s 41st California Agricultural Leadership Program class.
“Our newest class represents another smart and dedicated group of rising agricultural leaders,” Bob Gray, president and chief executive officer of the foundation, said in a news release. “They will take what they learn in the program to benefit and better serve the agricultural industry, their communities and beyond.”
The class will under go a 20-month long program that, among other studies, includes 10 days of seminars in Washington, D.C. and a similar 15-day program out of the country.
Among those in the class representing the fresh produce industry are Rick Burnes of Paramount Citrus Association, Delano; Juan Guzman of Cal Sungold Inc., Thermal; Cesar Hernandez of Reiter Affiliated Cos., Oxnard; Matt Lohse of Carriere & Sons, Glenn; Joey Mendonca of J.G. Boswell Co., Bakersfield; Vernon Peterson of Abundant Harvest Organics, Kingsburg; Alec Smith of Turlock Fruit Co., Turlock; and, Jorge Suarez of Ocean Mist Farms, Castroville.
Since the program was established in 1970, more than 1,000 men and women have participated, the release said. Enrollees are selected from the full agricultural spectrum, related businesses, government and education.
(Note on correction: The original version of this story indicated the foundation was based in Sacramento; the organization relocated to Salinas in April.)