AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — At its annual convention, Florida produce industry leaders helped raise thousands of dollars for education and charitable programs.

FFVA generates funds for industry, community needsIn its 15th year, the Sept. 24 silent auction at the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association’s convention generated $17,340 for the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation.

The foundation plans to use auction funds to support programs including farmworker children’s education, FFVA’s Emerging Leader Development Program, scholarships, production research grants, Florida produce promotions such as locally grown and a “Kids in the Kitchen” produce promotion, according to a news release.

Donated auction items included a wildlife print signed by the Florida state officials, fishing trips and tickets to University of Florida football games and NASCAR events.

The Maitland-based FFVA started the nonprofit foundation to address specialty crop growers’ scientific and knowledge needs in the production, marketing, transportation and consumption of fruits and vegetables.