The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association’s 68th Annual Convention, set for Sept. 18-21 at the Ritz-Carlton in Palm Beach, will focus on issues that are dominating the headlines and continue to affect how Florida producers do business.

The convention will feature thought-provoking speakers such as keynoter Scott Rasmussen, a political analyst, author and independent public opinion pollster.

His company, Rasmussen Reports, gathers and publishes public opinion polling information and reports on a wide scope of topics at RasmussenReports.com. He has been among the top 100 in the 2010 Dream Talk Show Guests List for his appearances on Fox News, CNBC, BBC and other major media outlets.

The convention will provide timely updates on major issues such as food safety and the regulations that are being written by the Food and Drug Administration; labor-related legislation, including a bill proposed in Congress that requires the use of E-Verify; and an overview on the future of water policy in Florida. Each forum will be led by industry experts who bring their perspective to the issues.

For information about the convention and to register, visit ffva.com/ffva2011 or call 321-214-5200.

Emerging Leadership Program participants to be announced during FFVA convention

The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association is launching a new program to develop young leaders within the organization. Those selected to participate in the Emerging Leader Development Program will be announced during the FFVA annual convention.

 “For Florida agriculture to continue to persevere into the future, a new generation of leaders has to be cultivated,” says Board of Directors Chairman Drew Duda. “We must recognize, nurture and empower these selected individuals through leadership development opportunities.”

The program has three objectives: to develop leaders who are prepared with a depth of knowledge of the many issues facing agriculture and provide them with the education and tools to deal with these issues; to better prepare younger leaders so they can improve the sustainability and economic viability of specialty crop agriculture; and to improve the grassroots engagement and involvement in FFVA and other industry organizations.

 “The FFVA Emerging Leader Development Program’s mission would be to identify young people who are pursuing careers in agriculture and have the desire to broaden their understanding of our industry,” says board member Paul Orsenigo. “FFVA would benefit from the service of the graduates through their future involvement in the association and beyond.”