How the California Almond Leadership Program Started
“Back in the dinosaur times when I was a field supervisor for Blue Diamond Growers many years ago, Land of lakes had a young leadership program,” said Kiss.
“Susan Brauner, who at the time was Blue Diamond Communication Director,
Said: ‘you know what? This is a great program,’” said Kiss. “So we helped initiate it at Blue Diamond where we brought young people from the farms, people that had interest in the almond industry. We started that project,” Kiss said. “Then, many years ago I serving on a committee with the Almond Board, and we decided to do the same kind of thing.”
And that’s when the California Almond Leadership Program began with the first class coming from all over the almond community. “Young people come together and worked through this program and it has been a wild success since then,” noted Kiss.
“It's very important, because some of us older people, transition out and you have to have new blood coming into the program and into the industry, and the only way you can do that is to formulate a way that you can introduce them to all the programs and the various aspects of farming, and marketing to go into the almond industry,” noted Kiss. “We want to start them at a young age, right out of college. It's very important,” he said.