The Florida Specialty Crop Foundation is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization founded to support research and educational activities to benefit Florida’s fruit and vegetable producers. Since its inception in 1991, the Foundation has raised over $6,845,432 through public support, government grants, and special events.
The activities of the Foundation center on three primary areas: research, education and philanthropy. We are committed to supporting research projects in critical areas of pest and disease management as well as other issues which impact the Florida specialty crop industry. Education encompasses not only seminars and events for members, but also supporting young people who are pursuing a career in agriculture and the George F. Sorn Scholarship Fund. The Emerging Leader Development Program was started in 2011 to develop new leaders for our industry. A key philanthropic area is the Redlands Christian Migrant Association, which provides daycare and education for the children of farmworkers.
Research and community outreach projects include:
Emerging Leader Development Program Florida Agricultural Labor Seminar George F. Sorn Scholarship Fund MRL Database Redlands Christian Migrant Association Spring Regulatory Tour University of Florida IFAS Research Grants: Farm Labor Contractor Training Phase 2 Late Blight in Tomatoes and Potatoes Improved Bacterial Spot Management in Tomatoes Positioning Florida-grown Produce as a Local Choice Groundnut Ringspot Virus “Kids in the Kitchen” promotion for Florida produce Connecting School Foodservice to Florida growers
ELDP Class 2 with Paul Orsenigo
FFVA Emerging Leader Development Program
administered by the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation
2012 - 2013 Class:
Tom Mitchell of Riverfront Packing Company, LLC Jonathan Allen of R.C. Hatton, Inc. Jessica Kerstein of Lipman Produce LeeAnn Hinton Coleman of Hinton Farms Produce, Inc (Paul Orsenigo, FFVA Executive Committee Member) Thomas Dalton of Farm Credit of Central Florida Joby Sherrod of A. Duda & Sons, Inc. Derek Orsenigo of Grower's Management, Inc Ian Bessell of ABC Research Laboratories Amber Kosinsky of Wish Farms Carleton Johns of Tater Farms Nick Basore of TKM Bengard Farms
• Equipping potential leaders with a depth of knowledge of the many issues facing agriculture and provide them with the education and tools to deal with these issues • Preparing younger leaders so they can improve the sustainability and economic viability of specialty crop agriculture • Improving grassroots engagement and involvement in the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association and other industry organizations. Producer and trade members of FFVA may nominate individuals ages 25 to 40 within their organizations or families to participate in the program.
Participants must be working in or pursuing a career in Florida’s specialty crop industry. For more details, email Sonia Tighe, Florida Specialty Crop Foundation executive director