Last updated on July 1st, 2019 at 08:55 am
Held on April 25, the Viva Fresh Open Golf Tournament launched the Fifth Annual Viva Fresh Expo in San Antonio, Texas. Both the golf tournament and the expo resulted in sold-out crowds, rave reviews and record-breaking attendance. 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 $30,000 for the new scholarship program. The program will provide one-year scholarships to family of Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) members, Viva Fresh exhibitors and 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 honored Dr. Leonard Pike with the first 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 of 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 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.
“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,” said Dante Galeazzi, president and 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.”
The Viva Fresh Produce Expo was established in 2015 by the Texas International Produce Association in order to create meaningful networking and educational opportunities for its members while shining a light on the importance of the Rio Grande Valley as an emerging trade corridor and production zone for healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables available all year long. In just four years, the Viva Fresh Produce Expo has catered to sold out crowds and increased buyer attendance by over 110 percent.