Year-Long Immersion Program for Future Almond Leaders Kicks Off

Posted March 31st, 2017

We are excited to welcome 18 new participants to the 2017 Almond Board of California’s (ABC) Almond Leadership Program! Now in its ninth year, this program helps prepare the participants to become leaders within the California almond community and in their local communities. 

“It's amazing to see the unity in diversity; we have growers, handlers, PCAs, and more, sitting together telling their story,” says participant Bikram Singh of Bapu Almond Co., Inc. “I am looking forward to making lifelong friendships and working together for the almond industry.”

The program includes specialized training in topic areas like food safety, biomass, honey extraction, and nutrition research; as well as hands-on experience and training in nurseries, almond orchards, a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) research facility, and other venues.

It is designed to help participants build relationships and develop communications skills, gain understanding of current social, political, scientific and economic issues facing the almond community, and learn how all sectors along the almond supply chain work together to safely and sustainably1 grow the product we all know and love.

At the end of the year, each member of the class completes a self-directed project to present their findings. In the past, these projects have led to important breakthroughs for the industry. In fact, ABC is currently conducting follow up research on the promising initial project of one of last year’s almond leaders around the alternative use of hulls and shells! We can’t wait to see what this year’s class will bring.

“This year will be a great year for almonds. Between the advancements we will make in the leadership program and all this rain, it will be one for the books,” says program participant Cameron White of Sierra View Ranch. “I am already extremely impressed by the overall program. I am convinced the knowledge and skill that us participants will take from completing this program will be invaluable and serve us for the rest of our lives.”

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2017 Almond Leadership class visiting the USDA Agricultural Resource Service site in Albany, CA to learn about biomass research.

Read more about this year’s Almond Leadership Program class here

1California Almond Sustainability Program definition: Sustainable almond farming utilizes production practices that are economically viable and are based upon scientific research, common sense and a respect for the environment, neighbors and employees. The result is a plentiful, nutritious, safe food product.