2018 George Sorn Scholarship recipient: Melissa Ruiz


George F. Sorn Scholarship
The Foundation recognizes that employees — and by extension their families — are the foundation of any agricultural enterprise. In 2007, it established the George F. Sorn Scholarship to help children of farmworkers realize their dreams of a college education. The scholarship benefits deserving high school graduates who are children of employees in the state’s specialty crop industry. A leading authority on farm labor, George F. Sorn led FFVA’s labor division for 17 years. He then served as FFVA’s vice president and general manager from 1984 until his retirement in 1992.

This year there were a number of outstanding applicants for the George F. Sorn Scholarship. Congratulations to 2020 winners Fernando Andraca and Natalia Lopez.

PMA 1PMA Career Pathways Program
The Foundation collaborates with the Produce Marketing Association’s Career Pathways Program at the FFVA annual convention.  The Career Pathways program connects the industry to future leaders by providing university students and faculty the opportunity to attend produce events. Students receive one-on-one mentoring, customized education including an industry overview, career panel discussions, tours of area companies and the chance to network at workshops and social events.  In 2019, FFVA and Career Pathways will support students from the University of Florida, Warner University and  Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University at the convention.

Warner University
With a $10,000 donation, the Foundation helped Warner University establish a new Agricultural Studies Program. Students in this new program experience ag-related content during their freshman and sophomore years. Internships, field trips, mentors and lectures by industry leaders help provide early guidance to those choosing an ag degree. The Foundation continues its support by providing scholarships for Warner agriculture students. In 2019, the Foundation donated $6,500 to support both scholarships and field trips for ag students.

IMG_0665Florida Agricultural Labor Seminar
This annual seminar educates agricultural employers and workers on compliance with agricultural labor laws and sound labor relations practices. The event hosts as many as 225 participants each year. Proceeds from the program are donated to the Redlands Christian Migrant Association. Go to www.ffva.com/events to register. Please note that registration opens annually in July, and you may not see the information until then.

Spring Regulatory Tour
Each year, the Foundation makes possible an environmental and pest management regulatory tour, which provides on-site educational opportunities for officials who and enforce federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to agriculture and the environment.