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New York Apple Association Receives United’s Produce Advocate Of The Year Award

At United’s Washington Public Policy Conference, the annual Produce Advocate of the Year award was given to the New York Apple Association:

United Fresh Produce Association President and CEO Tom Stenzel (at right) presents the 2007 Produce Advocate of the Year Award to the New York Apple Association. Jim Allen, president of the association accepts the award on behalf of the apple growers of New York State.

The New York Apple Association (NYAA) was recognized for its outstanding work in supporting the produce industry’s policy agenda with the 2007 Produce Advocate of the Year Award. Jim Allen accepted the award on behalf of the association, which was a major ally of the industry on the government affairs front last year.

The association’s work included numerous visits to the Washington, D.C., actively advocating their state and federal congressional delegations on behalf of key United Fresh policy priorities; and organizing grassroots advocacy efforts among New York apple farms.

“The New York Apple Association has championed many of our top issues,” said United Fresh President Tom Stenzel. “Jim Allen in particular has been relentless in his passion about immigration reform, and we can always depend on his help to talk to Members of Congress about nutrition policy.”

The Pundit was happy to be an instrument in Jim Allen’s efforts to spread the word about AgJOBS. Jim’s contributions appeared in pieces such as AgJOBS vs. Lou Dobbs and AgJOBS Bill Needs More Support.

When it became clear that the bill wasn’t going to pass despite many initial successes, we ran Immigration Bill Doomed, and explained Jim’s role this way:

Jim Allen at New York Apple Association was a magnificent advocate for his growers. He wrote guest columns everywhere that would have them — we did a few at the Pundit including here and here. Jim even got Myra Gordon, Executive Administrative Director at the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Cooperative Association, to put on her best St. John’s knit and go door to door scoring signatures on a petition….

In the end, it must be noted, the produce industry succeeded, its interests agreed to without any real controversy. Alas, the bird on whose wings this industry hoped to fly, was simply too heavy to get airborne. It turns out that though immigration reform may be important to agriculture, it is not an issue that Congress perceives as primarily agricultural in nature…

…let us tip our hat to the people who really tried to make something happen for this industry. We are very lucky to have them.

So we are. Congratulations to the apple growers of New York and to Jim Allen. Thanks to United Fresh for giving them their due.

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