The application period is open for the 19th annual class of the United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program.

The program, operated by the United Fresh Foundation’s Center for Leadership Excellence, is made possible through a grant from DuPont Crop Protection, according to a news release from Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association Foundation.

Participation in the fully paid leadership program is limited to 12 fellows who are selected by an advisory committee, chaired this year by United Fresh Board member and program alumnus Lisa Strube of Strube Celery & Vegetable Co., Chicago, according to the release. Since the program began, more than 200 industry members have participated in the leadership program, according to the release.

The yearlong program will feature a series of customized trips which include hands-on training with top industry experts and educators, interactive experiences with influential leaders in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, according to the release. Participants are scheduled to take trips to Michigan; Ontario; Washington, D.C., Wilmington, Del.; Yuma, Ariz.; and Chicago.

The program is reserved for United Fresh members only and is developed around the goals of leadership development, business relationships, government and public affairs, and media and public relations, according to the release. The leadership class will graduate at the 2014 United Fresh convention, according to the United Fresh release.

“The program is a yearlong exploration of the many facets of the produce industry while teaching the professional skills and personal development that are vital to success,” Strube said in the release. “It is a life-changing experience and an opportunity that I recommend to anyone who is committed to advancing their career.”

Information about the application process and the program, which began in 1995, can be found at the United Fresh website. The application period ends March 11. For more information about the program, contact Shannon Young, United Fresh education manager, at or 202-303-3405.