(Jan. 27, 11:40 a.m.) The United Fresh Research & Education Foundation, Washington, D.C., is now accepting applications for the 15th annual class of the Produce Industry Leadership Program.

Sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection, the program is an opportunity for United Fresh members to improve their knowledge and leadership skills, according to a news release.

Open to all members, the program has four goals: Leadership development, business relationships, government and public affairs, and media and public relations.

The yearlong program includes face-to-face meetings with industry personnel, training with experts and educators, and interactive experiences, according to the release.

Participants will travel to California; Washington, D.C.; Wilmington, Del.; and Culiacan, Mexico; before graduating at the 2010 convention in Las Vegas.

Twelve applicants will be selected by an advisory committee to represent a cross-section of the industry, according to the release.

Applications are available on the United Fresh Web site, www.unitedfresh.org, or by contacting senior vice president of member services Victoria Backer at (202) 303-3400 ext. 408. Applications are due March 2.