Falls Church, Va. (Feb. 6, 2022)—The U.S. Apple Association today announced the 2023 class of its emerging leader program, the NextGen Apple Fellowship. Six fellows from across the country have been chosen to participate in the 2023 class. In its second year, the program focuses on providing fellows with professional and leadership development, one-on-one mentoring, hands-on advocacy and community engagement.

The 2023 NextGen Apple Fellows include: 

  • Kostas Batziakas 
    Senior Scientist/Technical Project Manager
    Crunch Pak (Washington)
  • Ely Giroux 
    Production Manager 
    Chazy Orchards (New York)
  • Emily Kropf 
    Associate Crop Insurance Specialist 
    GreenStone Farm Credit Services (Michigan)
  • Aimee Peters 
    Business Development Manager, West Coast 
    First Fruits Farm (Washington)
  • Jesus Rodriguez 
    Horticulturalist/Assistant Area Manager
    Washington Fruit and Produce Company (Washington)
  • Jennie Strong 
    Communications and Outreach Specialist 
    Washington Apple Commission (Washington)

“Following an extensive interview process with applicants from across the country, we are excited to name the 2023 class of the NextGen Apple Fellowship,” said USApple Board Member and Chair of the NextGen Advisory Committee Elizabeth Pauls of Wittenbach Orchards in Michigan. “Each of the fellows was chosen because of their distinguished work in the apple sector, their tremendous potential, and their enthusiasm for the fellowship. USApple is excited for this class of individuals who come from diverse careers in the apple industry and balance one another with a vast collection of strengths and expertise.” 

The 2023 NextGen Apple Fellowship will have its kickoff meeting in Washington, D.C., March 14-17, in conjunction with USApple’s Capitol Hill Day. The program runs through December 2023. To learn more about the fellowship, click here