The U.S. Apple Association announced in a news release the newest members of its leadership development program, the NextGen Apple Fellowship. 

Seven fellows have been selected to participate in 2024, including: Amanda VanBergen, laboratory technician at Riveridge Produce Marketing in Michigan; Austin Benson, export sales at Chelan Fresh in Washington; Brannon Frankel, fixed asset manager at AgriMACS in Washington; Joseph Strippoli, orchard manager at Geig’s Orchard in Ohio; Madison Schaefer, SafePod account manager at Storage Control Systems in Michigan; Max Farrell, H-2A account executive at Seso Labor in Texas; and Shelby Miller, marketing and sales specialist at Applewood Fresh in Michigan. 

The NextGen Apple Fellowship focuses on hands-on experience with legislative and regulatory issues, professional development, a one-on-one mentorship program, opportunities to network with industry leaders, community engagement and more.

“Each member of this new class showed tremendous potential in their profession, enthusiasm and energy for the NextGen program, and a passion for the apple industry,” said USApple board member and chair of the NextGen advisory committee, Elizabeth Pauls of Wittenbach Orchards in Michigan. “As the national apple association, we’re looking forward to harnessing their skills and voice for the betterment of the industry.”

The 2024 program will kick off in Washington, D.C., in March, in conjunction with USApple’s Capitol Hill Day, and will run through December. To learn more about the fellowship and to see alumni, go to:

USApple will be introducing each member of the class on Instagram over the next month. Follow along at:

by Jonelle Mejica