FPFC Apprentice Program Holds First Session of 2021 With Bryan Nickerson of WGA

ANAHEIM, CA – The Fresh Produce & Floral Council’s 2021 Apprentice Class attended their first virtual session on Wednesday, April 14th, 2021. The session included an introduction to this year’s mentor group, an overview of the 2021 programming and a Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) presentation from Bryan Nickerson of Western Growers Association (WGA).

The meeting kicked off with a round of introductions from both Apprentices and mentors, as well as words of advice and encouragement to make the most out of their experience in the Apprentice Program. Of the fifteen mentors guiding the class this year, eight individuals have gone through the program as Apprentices since it began in 2014, and the remaining seven have been involved in the program since its inception – a  true testament to the success of the Apprentice Program.

After introductions wrapped, Bryan Nickerson of WGA presented on PACA, which expanded on the Apprentices’ first homework assignment, to successfully complete a PACA online training program comprised of ten learning modules, after which they received a certificate of completion. Bryan started off with a history of WGA and PACA, explaining to the class why the act enacted by a group of grower-shippers in 1930.

The holistic PACA presentation moved through common trade terms, levels of inspections, the pre-load and loading checklist, along with what evidence should be reviewed when a company is assessing their responsibility for claim purposes.

Bryan stated “For me, giving back to FPFC by providing PACA guidance and education to the Apprentice/mentor group is always rewarding. The experience is receiving industry knowledge and resources for when a dispute arises is invaluable and helps ensure the success of everyone in the supply chain. I am hopeful the information delivered will help each Apprentice arm themselves with useful knowledge to share with their companies and grow their careeer.” 

After the PACA session wrapped up, Apprentices were given the opportunity to connect for 20 minutes with their mentors to begin dialogue to build their relationship over the course of the program, and to share expectations and goals to provide the most value out of the program. To conclude the meeting, Apprentice Program chair, Rachelle Schulken of Renaissance Food Group, delivered the apprentice class their next homework assignment, which will set the stage for the Apprentices’ upcoming public speaking training sessions.

The FPFC is grateful to our partners and members that made this first session of the 2021 Apprentice class possible, including the program sponsors Dennis Gertmenian and Grimmway Farms. The Apprentices will be continuing throughout this year in a virtual setting and will have more tours, networking and virtual events to attend.

For information on The FPFC Apprentice program, please contact the FPFC office.