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The U.S. Apple Association announced its class of 2019 Young Apple Leaders, a group of young women and men selected by the organization to join with and learn from USApple leaders as they advocate on issues impacting growers and the apple industry.

“The 2019 Young Apple Leaders’ class is the largest in USApple history, and the industry is fortunate to have so many bright young people who want to be involved,” said Jim Bair, president and CEO of USApple.

The 2019 Young Apple Leaders are:

—Toni Lynn Adams, Washington Apple Commission, East Wenatchee, Washington

—Chester Allen, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia

—Julie Ann Bolyard, Appalachian Orchard Co., Martinsburg, West Virginia

—Alex Buck, Fruit Growers Marketing Association, Kent, Ohio

—Joe Ferguson, Ferguson’s Orchards, Galesville, Wisconsin

—Nicole Gordy, Sage Fruit Co., Yakima, Washington

—Carena Guise, Knouse Foods Cooperative Inc., Peach Glen, Pennsylvania

—Nicole Helms, California Apple Commission, Clovis, California

—Ben Heusinkvelt, Red Jacket Orchards, Geneva, New York

—Logan Janin, Taggares Fruit Co., Burbank, Washington

—Garrett Joeckel, CMI Orchards, Wenatchee, Washington

—Tyler Monson, Monson Fruit Co., Selah, Washington

—Aylin Moreno, McDougall & Sons Inc., Wenatchee, Washington

—Jim Norkus, Norkus Orchards, Salem, Ohio

—Steve Pennings, Pennings Farm Cidery, Warwick, New York

—Marianne Plath, Washington Fruit and Produce Co., Yakima, Washington

—Kyle Rasch, Windy Ridge Orchards, Conklin, Michigan

—Lex Roberts, Rice Fruit Co., Gardners, Pennsylvania

—Max Russell, Russell Farms Inc., Appleton, New York

—Jeremy Shank, Central Produce Sales Inc., Dowagiac, Michigan

—Chelsea Van Acker, New York Apples Sales Inc., Williamson, New York

—Kyle Wafler, Wafler Farms & Nursery, Wolcott, New York

As part of USApple’s Capitol Hill Day on March 13, the group will join USApple members from across the nation and will meet with members of Congress to discuss hard-hitting issues affecting the future of the apple industry.

“These young leaders are enthusiastic and eager to make a difference,” Bair said. “Whether it is tariffs that are damaging our export markets, or the need for labor to harvest our crops, they understand what is being debated and decided in Washington today will have long-term implications for the next generation of apple producers and they want to be in a position to help shape that policy.”

Sponsors of the 2019 YAL program include the California Apple Commission, Columbia Fruit Packers, Domex Superfresh Growers, Farm Credit East, Hudson River Fruit Distributors, Knouse Foods Cooperative Inc., Michigan Apple Committee, New York Apple Sales Inc., Ohio Apples Marketing Program, Northwest Farm Credit Services, Sage Fruit, Wilbur-Ellis and Yakima Fresh.