**The U.S. Apple Association has launched its application process for the 2021 Young Apple Leader class.

The YAL program mission is to equip the next generation of American apple growers and emerging leaders with an understanding of how federal, regulatory and legislative issues directly affect their apple business.

The program also gives the next generation opportunities to learn about advocacy, the most pressing issues facing the industry's future and how to be leaders.

You have until December 31st to submit applications.

The application can be found at mhendrickson@usapple.org or by contacting Matt Hendrickson

https://www.thepacker.com/news/people/us-apple-association-seeks-new-class-young-leaders?mkt/

**Stemilt Growers is pleased to announce current marketing manager Brianna Shales will be Stemilt’s new marketing director starting January 1st.

Shales follows Roger Pepperl, who’s retiring after more than 20 years with Stemilt.

Pepperl says Brianna was the obvious choice as the produce world is changing rapidly, and she displays the ability to adapt and implement what’s needed to keep our brand World Famous.

Shales has been with Stemilt since 2008.

**A familiar face is coming back to lead the USDA. President-elect Joe Biden has selected former Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack to reprise that role in his administration.

Vilsack spent eight years as Ag Secretary during the Obama administration and served two terms as Iowa governor.

Given the heightened hunger issues facing the U.S., Vilsack brings a familiarity to the position that allows him to hit the ground running on day one.