Local to participate in next Almond Leadership program 

Colusa County resident, Nas Chaudhary, has been chosen by Almond Board of California to participate in the Almond Leadership Program’s class of 2018.

This group of 18 future leaders represents nearly every field in the industry, from growers and pest control advisors to food safety specialists and grant writers. With the help of mentors, participants will spend the next year preparing to become leaders within their communities and the California Almond industry.

During their time in the program, participants will receive hands-on experience and training in a wide variety of topic areas such as food safety, biomass, honey extraction, and nutrition research.

They will also gain a clear understanding of current social, political, scientific and economic issues facing the almond industry and learn how all sectors along the almond supply chain work together to provide a safe, sustainable product.

“Acceptance into this program is an honor and participants are selected based on their passion and commitment to moving the industry ahead,” said Jenny Nicolau, Almond Board manager of industry relations, in a press release. “Twenty, thirty, forty years from now, we will look around the industry and see our greatest industry leaders as graduates from the Almond Leadership Program, and they will look at one another and see decades of service and friendship.”

At the end of the program, participants will present their findings from a yearlong self-directed project designed to advance industry knowledge in an area of interest to them. In the past, these projects have led to important breakthroughs for the industry.

Chaudhary and her family purchased a 20-arce almond ranch in 2017 after several years of in-depth research and planning. Chaudhary studied environmental science policy and management at UC Berkeley and spent much of her career working in the technology and biotechnology industries. She currently works for a non-profit organization, The Green Bee, which focuses on bridging the gap between technology and agriculture and has a natural affinity for nature and growing plants.

“I look forward to merging my professional background in technology and biotechnology with my desire and willingness to learn and absorb as much as possible in the almond industry,” Chaudhary said.

Over the past nine years, the Leadership program has graduated more than 100 participants. This year’s class has pledged to raise $20,000 for California FFA scholarships.■