The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation has accepted 23 fellows to the annual AgKnowledge leadership program based in Salinas, Calif.

They’ll participate in a nine-month program on the heritage of Monterey County, Calif., agriculture and its ties with local government and the community.

Courses focus on issues including food safety, labor and immigration, technology, marketing, conservation and water. From March to November, the fellows will spend 10 Fridays attending forums; visiting farms and processing facilities; and meeting industry leaders, according to a news release.

It’s sponsored by the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California and the Monterey County agricultural commissioner’s office. This is the eighth class. Fellows include:

  • Joyce Aldrich, executive director, Workforce Investment Board, Monterey County;
  • Jesse Avila, deputy county counsel, Monterey County;
  • Katharine Ball, digital editor, The Salinas Californian;
  • Priscilla Barba, board aide to Simon Salinas, Monterey County supervisor;
  • Janet Barnes, board of education, trustee, District 4;
  • Pete Delgado, president and chief executive officer, Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System;
  • Mark Dias, supervising environmental health specialist, Monterey County;
  • Veronica Diaz, political coordinator, Teamsters Joint Council 7;
  • Irma Gomez, assistant director of customer service, Markon Cooperative;
  • Linda Gonzalez, district director, office of state assemblyman Luis Alejo;
  • Grey Hayes, coastal training program director, Elkhorn Slough Foundation;
  • Shimat Joseph, IPM advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension;
  • Shyam Kamath, dean, School of Business, California State University, Monterey Bay;
  • Philip Molnar, reporter, Monterey Herald;
  • Edward Moreno, health officer, Health Department, Monterey County;
  • Martina Nino, manager, Hayashi & Wayland;
  • Ignacio Ornelas, special assistant, Stanford University;
  • Susan Pheasant, director of Ag, Business & Technology Institute, Hartnell College;
  • Cammie Ramsey, marketing assistant, Mann Packing Co.;
  • Sierra Ryan, researcher and program coordinator, Central Coast Wetlands Group;
  • Karen Stahlman, chief deputy agricultural commissioner, Monterey County;
  • Brian Turlington, executive director, Monterey County Business Council; and
  • Steve Wotherspoon, senior vice president, Pinnacle Bank.