The U.S. Apple Association recently announced its fifteen Young Apple Leaders for 2021, and four of this year’s winners come from the Pacific Northwest. The program provides each Young Apple Leader a year of mentorship and leadership training as they learn about federal regulatory and legislative apple issues. Becky Hinkley with CMI Orchards in Wenatchee, WA, says she applied for the mentorship program to learn how things are done at the national level.

"I think that there needs to be a local voice that speaks up for our growers and helps speak up about our industry's issues that we're having."

All 15 members of this year's class will engage in year-long communications and advocacy training, industry workshops, member events, and other enriching experiences.

"I think it's important that the younger generation understands how the process works for our growers and speaks up for our growers. The younger community needs to understand what these growers have been through."

Other winners this year include David Brugato, from Portland, OR, Kyle Eggers, from Selah, WA, and Katie Harmon, from Wenatchee WA. The Young Apple Leaders program is in its twelfth year, with previous participants event working their way onto the U.S. Apple Association Board of Directors.​

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