Sep 23, 2022
Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association names emerging leaders

The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association has chosen 14 up-and-coming agriculture industry leaders for Class 12 of its Emerging Leader Development Program.

Administered by the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation, the Emerging Leader Development Program has provided 128 young leaders since 2011 with an immersive experience on the many issues facing the industry and how to be leaders within FFVA. Eight graduates have now gone on to serve at the highest level within FFVA, as members of the board of directors.

Class 12 members are:

  • Thomas Addison, H&A Farms, Mount Dora
  • Renee L. Buxton, Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, Belle Glade
  • David Dyer, Corteva Agriscience, Bradenton
  • Russ Fraleigh, Florida Coast Equipment, Royal Palm Beach
  • Josh Hancock, R.C. Hatton, Royal Palm Beach
  • Brett Helvey, Diamond R. Fertilizer, Cape Coral
  • Lamar Jahna, Seminis Vegetable Seeds, Avon Park
  • Hernan Martinez, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Clewiston
  • Mac Metcalf, Syngenta Crop Protection, Oviedo
  • Jeremy Nipper, Everglades Equipment Group, Tampa
  • Todd Pirtle, Syngenta Vegetable Seeds, Homestead
  • Matthew Reichenbach, Ferris Farms, Inc., Floral City
  • Erin Parke Watson, Parkesdale Farms, Dover
  • Joel Whitehead, Harris Moran, Winter Haven

During the year ahead, participants will visit FFVA’s headquarters to learn about all facets of the association; tour farming and packing operations in Florida; meet in Tallahassee with elected officials and state leaders during the legislative session; and travel to the heart of California’s agricultural region to get an even broader perspective. Class 12 will graduate at FFVA’s annual convention in September 2023.

More about FFVA’s Emerging Leader Development Program can be found at


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