Warner Ag students attended the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFVA) Convention held at The Breakers in Palm Beach in September. Three students were chosen by the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) to attend their Career Pathways program held at the event.
According to PMA’s website, “These programs are designed to attract the best and brightest students to begin a career in the fresh produce and floral industry. Students are paired with industry mentors, participate in customized education sessions and are fully integrated into international, national and regional events.”
Each Warner student, along with four Ag students from the University of Florida, was paired with a mentor from the Ag industry for three days of learning, networking, and touring.
The three students and their mentors were:
Tabitha Rowell, paired with Paul Miller with Pioneer Growers in Belle Glade
James Warren, paired with Keith Wedgworth with Wedgworth, Inc.
Tyler Durrance, paired with Rob Atchley with Duda Citrus
The students, along with WU Ag Instructor Justin Sharpless, not only sat in on educational workshops, but also toured local produce operations. They toured Fresh Point, a national produce distribution company in Pompano Beach, where they learned about the specialty produce they distributed and how the company worked with cruise lines.
Next, they visited Pero Family Farms in Delray Beach, who produces different types of vegetables including peppers, squash and green beans. This family-owned business is over 100 years old. This trip really gave them a bird’s eye view of the sustainable production side of vegetables.