State Almond Board names Capurso to leadership program

Kate Capurso (Courtesy photo)

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Since 2009, the Almond Board of California has recruited young working professionals to participate and collaborate in a one-year Almond Leadership Program.

The program provides training on many aspects of the almond industry and offers participants opportunities to view social, economic, environmental and regulatory issues impacting the industry.

Seventeen representatives have been chosen for the 2022 Almond Leadership Program who will continue working while receiving focused training on all aspects of the industry. 

Greater Winters resident Kate Capurso, a sixth generation Californian and a graduate of the UC Davis School of Management, has been selected to join the program’s class of 2022. 

Capurso is employed by Blue Diamond Growers managing strategic aspects of their sustainability programs.

“My work directly supports the Almond Board of California’s 2025 sustainability goals, she said. “As a sustainability specialist for Blue Diamond Growers, I work closely with our member relations team. We connect our growers with the resources to implement best practices in their orchards.”

Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that humans need for survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainable agriculture is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have the water, materials and resources to protect human health and our environment.

As part of the 2022 class, Capurso will join others with diverse backgrounds, from almond growers and processors to operations managers, sales representatives, consultants and pest management advisors with a focus on improving the California almond industry.

Capurso learned of the leadership program from a former graduate and was intrigued by their experience.

“I saw a lot of potential to learn and grow in my current role and within the industry. There’s an application process, followed by interviews for those selected. From there, the group is chosen by a panel at the Almond Board of California,” she said.

“Over the next year, I’m looking to discover new ways to give back to the industry and community, as well as ways to maintain and strengthen the California almond industry’s position as innovative leaders within agriculture,” Capurso said.

When asked what she sees as the greatest challenge facing California’s almond industry, Capurso mentioned current challenge at ports.

“Like all ag products, and most commodities right now, our most immediate concern is the tangled shipping and port circumstances. Sales that are being missed are simply lost revenue to the industry and they won’t be back filled,” Capurso said. “That is hard on everyone in the line, from growers to processors to customers. On the plus side, almonds have a long shelf life, so when customers do get their shipments, there will be no loss of high quality.”

“I’m proud to be part of such an important, forward-looking industry. The world needs more plant proteins and the world needs trees, which is why we say we make the world better by what we grow and how we grow,” Capurso concluded.

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