SALINAS, November 3, 2015 – Twenty-four individuals have been selected for Class 46 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program, an advanced leadership development experience for emerging agricultural leaders. The new fellows were recently inaugurated at Fresno State.

Through dynamic seminars during an intensive 17-month program, fellows will study leadership theory, effective communication, motivation, critical and strategic thinking, change management, emotional intelligence and complex social and cultural issues.

Seminars are delivered by four partner universities: Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Fresno State and UC Davis. Fellows will participate in 56 seminar days, including an eight-day national travel seminar and a 15-day international travel seminar.

“We are proud to be seating our 46th consecutive class of fellows,” said Bob Gray, president and CEO of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF). “We have very high expectations for this group of individuals who can make a difference and solve important problems facing agriculture and society.”

CALF invests approximately $55,000 per fellow to participate in the program, which is underwritten by individual and industry donations. Ag Leadership is considered to be one of the premier leadership development programs in the United States. Since it was first delivered in 1970, more than 1,200 men and women have participated in the program and have become influential leaders and active volunteers in the agriculture industry and other areas.

Class 46 Fellows:

Erin Amaral, Grover Beach, Pacific Vineyard Company, assistant vineyard manager
Zach Bagley, Davis, Olam West Coast, tomato crop supervisor
Drew Becker, Biggs, SunWest Foods, field service representative
Dominic Bruno, Sacramento, Bypass Farms, farm manager
Domenick Buck, Bakersfield, Anthony Vineyards, grower
Josh Davy, Cottonwood, University of California Cooperative Extension, livestock and range farm advisor
Shannon Douglass, Orland, CalAgJobs, owner
Melissa Heinrich, Santa Clarita, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., senior director of sourcing
Johnna Hepner, Hollister, Produce Marketing Association, director of food safety and technology
Gayle Holman, Clovis, Westlands Water District, public affairs representative and spokesperson
Randy Hopkins, Clovis, Provost & Pritchard, vice president
Sarah Hovinga, Sacramento, Bayer CropScience, agronomic development specialist
Beau Howard, Corcoran, J.G. Boswell Company, production agronomist and pest control adviser
Jorge Inestroza, Springville, Tenalu Farm, operations manager
Heather Jackson, Madera, Sunview Dried Fruit, area manager
Marc Metzer, Gonzales, Metzer Farms, general manager
Denise Moore, Newcastle, Fowler Nurseries, Inc., co-owner
Tony Ortiz, Camarillo, Joseph and Sons, operations manager
Salvador Parra, Jr., San Joaquin, Burford Ranch, assistant farm manager
Shaun Ramirez, Firebaugh, The Specialty Crop Company, food safety/safety coordinator
Adam Secondo, Salinas, Secondo Farms LP, owner
Blake Vann, Esparto, Vann Brothers, orchard manager
Christian Vellanoweth, Sacramento, Pearl Crop, grower representative
Ashley Zellmer, Sacramento, State Water Resources Control Board, coordinator

Images of fellows available upon request.