Dec 17, 2019FGN, VGN honor Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 Class of 2019
Fruit Growers News and Vegetable Growers News honored the Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 Class of 2019 during the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO on Dec. 10.
The exemplary agriculture professionals were nominated by their peers for the impressive accomplishments of their young careers. The Class of 2019 was also featured in the October 2019 issues of both publications.
Launched last year, the 40 Under 40 Awards represent a broad spectrum of agriculture industry professionals, from growers and farm market operators, to Extension agents and industry suppliers. The young professionals selected are making substantial strides for their individual businesses and the industry as a whole.
“It was an exciting evening honoring the future of our industry,” said CEO and Publisher Matt McCallum. “The industry is clearly in good hands with these young professionals, who are already making a positive impact through their exceptional leadership, motivation and innovation.”
The 2019 honorees were:
- Chris Alpers, Farmer/Sales Representative, Red Path Orchards
- Amaya Atucha, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Julie Bolyard, CFO & Food Safety Plan Administrator, Appalachian Orchard Company
- Jocelyn Bridson, Director of Environmental Science and Resources, Rio Farms
- William Bristol, Sales Representative, Nutrien Ag Solutions
- Jeremy Coventry, Production Manager/Owner, Curtis Orchard
- Henry Deblouw, Past President, Mike Pirrone Produce, Inc.
- Alex Duffy, National Specialty Crop Manager, TIMAC AGRO USA
- Andy Ferguson, Co-Owner, Ferguson’s Orchards
- Colleen Forestieri, Conservation Technician, Van Buren Conservation District
- Christopher Grant, Secretary/Treasurer, New England Vegetable & Berry Growers Association
- Matt Haak, Orchard Manager, Price Cold Storage LLC
- Tom Heeman, President , North American Strawberry Growers Association
- Ricardo Hernandez, Senior Scientist/Assistant Professor, Grafted Growers/North Carolina State University
- Gerrit Herrygers, Grower/Technical Sales Rep, Herryger Farms and Wilbur Ellis
- Cain Hickey, Assistant Professor and Extension Viticulture Specialist, University of Georgia
- Kristin Kubiszak, Grower/Farm Market Manager, Brookside Farm
- Erin Lizotte, Integrated Pest Management Educator, Michigan State University Extension
- Sarah Lott Zost, Manager, Bonnie Brae Fruit Farms Inc.
- Amanda McWhirt, Assistant Professor of Horticulture, Extension Specialist – Horticulture Production, University of Arkansas
- Stephen Meyers, Assistant Extension/Research Professor, Mississippi State University
- Jake Milarch, Owner, Truly Michigan Vines
- Stacey Mullen, Orchard Owner and Agricultural Sales/Consultant, The Berry Farm & Orchard/ Timac Agro
- Jenna Oesch, Global Marketing and Customer Experience Lead, A Bayer Crop Science, Vegetable Seeds, Bayer Crop Science
- Kristin Oomen, Sales, Product Development Manager, Bejo Seeds, Inc.
- Justin Oomen, Vegetable Grower, Oomen Farms LTD
- Nancie Oxley, Winemaker/Vice President, St. Julian Winery
- Jason Ruhlig, Owner/Manager, Ruhlig Farms
- Jayesh Samtani, Assistant Professor and Small Fruit Extension Specialist, Virginia Tech, Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center
- James Stahl, Partner/Farm Manager, Harvest Lane Farm Market
- Ann Swanson, Hendrick House Farm Director, Hendrick House
- Hillary Thomas, Research and Technical Director, Naturipe Berry Growers
- Charlie Thompson, Vice President & Director of Research, Illinois Foundation Seeds, Inc.
- Brandon Wade, President, Georgia Blueberry Growers Association
- Nicole Ward, Owner/Cidermaker, Forgotten Ciders
- Ben Werling, MSU Extension Educator, Michigan State University
- Pat Whitwood, Director of Research, Seneca Vegetable Research, Inc.
- Nathan Wilson, Farm Manager, Williams Orchards
- Dale Woolf, Co-owner, Woolf Farms
- Isaiah Wunsch, Owner/Managing Partner, Wunsch Farms
The 2019 Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 Awards were sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, Enza Zaden, Stokes Seeds, FMC, Proptek and Marrone Bio Innovations. For more information about each member of the Class of 2019, visit https://fruitgrowersnews.com/40under40 or https://vegetablegrowersnews.com/40under40. Nominations for the Class of 2020 are available online, at www.fruitgrowersnews.com and www.vegetablegrowersnews.com, with a nomination deadline of March 15, 2020.
The 40 Under 40 Class of 2019 gathers for a group photo at the awards ceremony held Dec. 10 during the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO. Photo: Eric Hadden