FRESNO, Calif., March 28, 2012 - The inaugural class of American Pistachio Growers (APG) Leadership Program completed their year-long educational and training experience and graduated at APG’s annual conference held in San Diego, in February.
The association’s program is designed to provide a highly-focused experience consisting of leadership training, seminars led by APG staff and industry leaders, hands-on educational opportunities and an in-depth view of the organization’s committee and directors’ activities to prepare participants for possible Committee and Board selection. Additionally, the program is designed to increase the overall acumen of growers and industry professionals who indicate an interest in taking a leadership role in the pistachio industry and their state’s agriculture.
The participants represented a cross section of APG’s membership, including new pistachio growers, multi-generation growers, farm managers, and representatives from processing entities. They were all from APG’s California, Arizona and New Mexico membership base.
Graduates of the 2011 class included:
Richard Anderson, Anderson Farms, LLC
Jeremy Blackwell, Pioneer Nursery
Rudy Hernandez, Five Star Harvesting
Jean Heuler, J&P Pistachio Ranch
Anil Kumar, K&G Farms
Adam Kusmak, Tularosa Pistachio Groves, Tularosa, New Mexico
Eric Montemagni, Keenan Farms, Inc.
Tim O’Neill, O’Neill Agri-Management
Adam Orandi, ARO Pistachio
Sharon Roden, Roden Farms
Larry Wilkinson, J.Poonian Ltd. Partnership
Tristan Zannon, Santa Barbara Pistachio Ranch
In addition, participants were selected for the 2012 APG Leadership Program, including:
Devin Aviles, Agri-World Cooperative
Michelle Carter, Meridian Nut Growers
Tracey Chance, Chance Ranch
Danielle Kusmak, Tularosa Pistachio Groves, Tularosa, New Mexico
Hamid Orandi, Orandi Farms Management
Dominic Pitigliano, Pitigliano Farms
Donnie Rose, Jr., Kettleman Pistachio Growers
Vahid Salehi, Pistachia Global
Zachary Sheely, Sheely Family Farms
Scott Shropshire, Shropshire Farms
Matthew Watte, George Watte & Sons
Diane Wood, Little Creek/Fiddyment Farms
About American Pistachio Growers
American Pistachio Growers is a voluntary trade association representing members who are pistachio growers, processors and industry partners in California, Arizona and New Mexico. These states represent 100% of the domestic commercial pistachio production. APG pistachios are the “Official Snack” of both USA Water Polo and Miss California. Pistachios are now one of the top four agricultural exports from California, and growing.