Held on April 25, the Viva Fresh Open Golf Tournament launched the 5th Annual Viva Fresh Expo in San Antonio, Texas. The event also marked a new milestone with the announcement of an annual Scholarship Program that will be supported by the proceeds of the Viva Fresh Open Golf Tournament.
This year, the Viva Fresh Open raised a total of $30,000 for the new scholarship program. The program will provide one-year scholarships to family of TIPA members, Viva Fresh exhibitors & sponsor companies for students who intend to pursue a degree or certification program relevant to the fresh produce industry.
Each year, the scholarship will honor a notable figure in the fresh produce industry as a way to pay tribute to those who paved the way for these students. This year, Viva Fresh said it is proud to honor Dr. Leonard Pike with the 1st Annual Viva Fresh Scholarships.
“We’re excited to support the development of the next generation of produce industry professionals and future leaders,” said Ed Bertaud, IFCO Director – Retail Sales and Chairman of the Viva Fresh Open Golf Tournament Committee. “Whether candidates are pursuing a degree in horticulture, or becoming a commercial driver by enrolling in a vocational program – these scholarships are designed for them.”
Scholarships will be awarded to recipients based on merit after an application process, which will open this summer in order to award the first round of scholarships before the Fall 2019 semester. Applicants are challenged during the submission process to illuminate the ways in which their education will support the industry. Thus incorporating and encouraging a broader range of interests and skills within the produce industry, organizers say.
“Our industry is constantly evolving and as the scope of operations, regulations and needs in fresh produce expands, so do the capabilities and skill-sets of our personnel,” commented Dante Galeazzi, President & CEO of the Texas International Produce Association, “As a reflection of the changing dynamics in the supply chain, we want this program to support studies that bring value to all aspects of the industry —from sales and logistics, to engineering, technology, finance and more.”