8th Annual
James & Theresa Nolan
Family Foundation
and EPC Scholarship 2021

Deadline to Apply:
Friday, April 23rd

Winner to be Announced:
Tuesday, May 25th

To learn more about this scholarship and how to apply, click the button below

To learn more about this scholarship and to download the application, click here.


Thank you to everyone who supported this year's
Virtual Show & Conference.


Eastern Produce Council Hosts 6th Annual Joe DeLorenzo Family Apple Picking Event

The Eastern Produce Council hosted its 6th Annual Joe DeLorenzo Family Apple Picking Event on Saturday, October 3rd at Melick Family Farm in Oldwick, NJ. “It was a beautiful day to be together, celebrating Joe and our EPC families in attendance. Wearing masks was a necessity, but at least we could be gathering as a council, with our families, out on a farm”, said EPC Director, Susan McAleavey Sarlund.

The event ran like it had in prior years for the most part. There was a “Grab and Go” Cider and Doughnut bag for breakfast, Hayrides to the top of the orchard still ran with less people being accommodated on each ride, and tents offering fresh grilled corn on the cob, hotdogs and popcorn, following the apple picking.

There were over 35 people from the DeLorenzo family in attendance including Joe’s wife Goldie, three of his four sisters and 14 grandchildren, including his one-year old namesake, Joseph Michael DeLorenzo.

The event was named in honor of long-time board member and two-time president of the council, Joe DeLorenzo, who passed away in November 2014 and established by former EPC Executive Director, John McAleavey, who passed away in June of 2015.

Click Here To View More Photos of this Event!

*Photos By The Produce News



Great to Gather again for the EPC's 45th Annual Golf Outing!

Oh what a day! The skies were blue, the temperature an ideal mid 70s and people were so happy to gather together again as a council since the Coronovirus Pandemic began. Postponed from the original date of June 6th, the EPC hosted its 45th Annual Sal Zacchia, Phil LaRocca and Pete Piastra Memorial Golf Outing at Fox Hollow Golf Club in Branchburg, NJ on Saturday, September 12th.

Following a Grab and Go Breakfast, the group went out to play golf in a Shotgun Format. The top two teams of the day both had a score of 59 but breaking the tie was the team of Derrick Bender, Ed Rummel, Sam Cefalu and Anthony DeAngelis. The second place team was comprised of Michael Rojas, Angela Aronica, and Daniel Milan.

The Longest Drive winners were Michael Rojas and Theresa Lowden and the Closest to the Pin winners were Michael D’Arrigo, Rich Borchers, Brian D’Arrigo, and Steve Tirado. The Winner of the Putting Contest was Michael Hungerbuhler.

Following the round of golf was a boxed BBQ lunch, cocktails, a 50/50 raffle drawing and Grand Prize Drawing of a set of Golf clubs. There was also a Prize Raffle.

EPC Executive Director, Susan McAleavey Sarlund, in her closing remarks thanked everyone for coming out to support the event and the Golf Committee who was committed to hosting the event and getting the membership together in what has truly been an unprecedented year. She also thanked all the sponsors who contributed to the outing, including Gold Sponsors Dole and Giorgio, Silver Sponsor Robinson Fresh and Bronze Sponsors, American Blueberries, Fruitco, Hapco Farms, Lancaster Foods, and Pennrose Farms.

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Update From New Jersey
Secretary Of Agriculture,
Douglas Fisher


Update From South Carolina Commissioner Of Agriculture,
Hugh Weathers


7th Annual EPC/Nolan Family Foundation Scholarship Awarded Via Zoom

Pictured in the Bottom Row (L to R): Scholarship Recipient Jacqueline Giz, Uncle of Winner, EPC’s George Moskal, Top Row (L to R:) EPC’s Susan McAleavey Sarlund and Theresa Nolan, representing the Nolan Family Foundation.

In spite of not being able to gather for the EPC’s Annual BBQ on May 19th, sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, the council congratulated its 2020 Scholarship Winner yesterday via Zoom.

On the call to present the 7th Annual $5,000 Nolan Family Foundation Scholarship were Theresa Nolan, EPC Executive Director, Susan McAleavey Sarlund, the Winner of the 2020 Scholarship, Jacqueline Giz, and George Moskal (Jacqueline’s Uncle, member of EPC’s Executive Board and 2010 EPC Hall of Fame Recipient). Jacqueline will attend Rutgers University this fall and will double major in Art History and Economics in a Pre-Law Track.

Susan shared with the Zoom participants, “With so much disappointment in our world these past two months, and all that High School Seniors have lost out on, I thought it was essential to celebrate the Scholarship with Jacqueline on the actual day she would have been presented to our membership at the EPC’s BBQ. Congratulations Jacqueline, we wish you all the best with your college experience!”

What makes this scholarship unique is that it is based solely on a 500-word essay on ethics. In particular, applicants need to cite an example of how they faced an ethical challenge in their life and dealt with it. Scholarship Applicants must be related to an EPC member who has been a member of the Council for at least six months, preceding the date of the application, and anonymous essays are judged by representatives of the Nolan Foundation.


Food Safety Modernization Act Webinar for EPC Membership

Since our Leadership Group was not able to get together for the April 7th scheduled FSMA presentation at TopGolf in Edison, NJ, Rutgers Cooperative Extension hosted the EPC on 4/29.

Resource links:

Rutgers On-Farm Food Safety Team Resources
Rutgers On-Farm Food Safety COVID-19
Rutgers On-Farm Food Safety Facebook page


The 2020 EPC Leadership Class

The EPC proudly announces the 20 up-and-coming produce professionals chosen for its 2020 Leadership Class, a professional development experience for those with less than 10 years of experience in the industry. The program provides the opportunity for those selected to gain valuable knowledge from both classroom and field experience.

Schedule of Events

March 24th - To be Rescheduled - Visit to Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market (PWPM) in Philadelphia, PA and Holt Cargo Systems at the Port of Gloucester, NJ.
April 7th - Food Safety and Modernization Act Webinar.
June 9th - To be Rescheduled - Classroom/Field Experience at Hionis Greenhouses in Whitehouse Station, NJ.
September 15th - Classroom/Field Experience at Rutgers’ Snyder Research Farm
in Pittstown, NJ.
December 9th & 10th - Attend Seminar and Cocktail Reception at New York Produce Show. Certificates of Completion will be presented at the
Show’s Keynote Breakfast.


10th Annual New York Produce Show & Conference

Thank you for your support of the 10th Annual New York Produce Show and Conference. It could not succeed without your support!


EPC’s Third Annual Tailgate at MetLife Stadium a Big Hit

Sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission and Litehouse, Inc., The Eastern Produce Council hosted its Third Annual Tailgate Event in the Toyota Club at MetLife Stadium on Wednesday, October 2nd in East Rutherford, NJ.

Those arriving early enjoyed a tour of the stadium that included the Press Box and Museum, the Commissioner’s Lounge, and the field. Following a Cocktail Hour featuring Idaho Potato and Litehouse fare, EPC President, Marianne Santo, introduced the evening’s sponsors, Stacey Miller, Director of Marketing for Litehouse, Inc. and Seth Pemsler, Retail Vice President of the Idaho Potato Commission. Both introduced their staff in attendance, remarked on the importance of the Metro NY marketplace to their businesses, and handed over the night to guest speaker, Vince Papale.

Vince shared his unique story with the audience through his humor and enthusiasm. He is a former professional football player who played three seasons for his beloved, hometown NFL team, the Philadelphia Eagles. He was a 30-year old NFL rookie who never played college ball at his Alma Mater, St. Joseph’s College, which he attended on a full Track scholarship. Vince’s story was brought to light in the stirring football drama, “Invincible”, starring Mark Wahlberg, about an ordinary guy who, against all odds, takes his shot at every fan’s fantasy of going from the grandstands to the gridiron in an open tryout. It has been described that Papale’s odds of achieving his wildest lifelong dream of playing for the Eagles was “one in a gazillion!” He connected his story to the business world, the importance of dreams and teamwork.

Following Vince’s engaging remarks, the sponsors raffled off footballs and a book, signed by Vince, as well as, Idaho Potato Trucks and the always popular, Spudy Buddies. Between the unique setting, the food, and Papale’s dynamic presentation, the crowd of loyal EPC members thoroughly enjoyed the night.

Click Here To View More Photos of this Event!


5th Annual Joe DeLorenzo Family Apple Picking

On Saturday, September 21st, over 100 people (including EPC members, their families, and the family of Joe DeLorenzo) enjoyed a summer-like morning at Melick Farm in Oldwick, NJ, for the 5th Annual Joe DeLorenzo Family Event. Cider and doughnuts kicked off the morning and were followed by tractor rides that took families up to the orchard to pick apples. After returning from the orchard, everyone enjoyed fresh grilled corn on the cob, hotdogs, and popcorn.

This year’s gathering was extra special with special guest, 3-month old, Joseph Michael DeLorenzo, son of Joe’s son Anthony, and named in honor of his deceased grandfather.

The event was named in honor of long-time board member and two-time president of the council, Joe DeLorenzo, who died on November 2014. “Joe was all about family, and this event is an opportunity for EPC families to remember Joe and spend time together out on a farm in primetime apple season”, said Susan McAleavey Sarlund, executive director of the EPC.

Joe’s love of family was evident by more than 35 members of the DeLorenzo family on hand for the event. All are New Jersey residents, except for one of his daughters and her family who came up from Florida.

Click Here To View More Photos of this Event!


44th Annual Golf Event

Thank you to all those who participated in or supported our 44th annual golf event!

Click Here To View More Photos of this Event!


Eastern Produce Council Leadership Program Tours Rutgers Snyder Research Farm

The Eastern Produce Council's Leadership Program 2019 group received a warm welcome from Peter Nitzsche, County Agent I & Professor for the Rutgers Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the Snyder Research & Extension Farm on Tuesday, June 4th in Pittstown, NJ. The group spent the day touring the farm, learning about the Rutgers Research and Extension program, and honing their leadership and communication skills in an afternoon classroom session.

Mr. Nitzsche provided an overview of the farm stating, “We’re happy to welcome you to the Rutgers Center for Sustainable Agriculture: The Clifford E. and Melda C. Snyder Research and Extension Farm. Clifford and Melda Snyder were farmers and very active in the agricultural community and when they passed on decided to bequeath the 390-acre farm to Rutgers for use as a research facility. This farm is utilized by Rutgers to conduct research on sustainable agriculture and to address problems faced by farmers in northern NJ.”

EPC Executive Director, Susan McAleavey Sarlund led the Leadership students during their tour and commented the goal behind the group was simple. "We wanted to give the group a chance to get real-life, hands-on experience as part of this exceptional program and touring Snyder Farm was the perfect choice for the third component of the program". The group had previously toured Gloucester Port and Terminal in Gloucester City, NJ and Greenyard Logistics in Swedesboro, NJ and attended a FSMA seminar at the end of April.

The tour of the farm began with a wagon ride to the strawberry patch where the students learned about the various forms of trials and testing that occur at the farm. Nitzche allowed the EPC Leadership team to pick some strawberries to bring home, explaining that the majority of New Jersey strawberry farmers do so for the agri-tourism segment, i.e. “pick-your-own” as they are very labor intensive to pick. They continued along the wagon ride where they learned that while the farm is primarily for research, they do sell some of the surplus crop to the Rutgers University dining services when appropriate and they have also donated over $1.7 million of fresh produce to local food banks to help combat food scarcity in the area.

The “students” in the Leadership Program were able to get their hands dirty too. A few of them helped to plant new Yacon plants that the university is testing for potential fall options for local farmers to expand their crop offering.

Following a nice lunch provided by the team at the Farm, the EPC group participated in an afternoon session in a classroom environment. Stan Elson, Adjunct Professor for Rutgers University, conducted the afternoon educational session with a focus on communication and leadership skills. McAleavey Sarlund remarked, “It was great to see the group engage in the exercises Stan put together about personality traits and how to effectively interact with colleagues who may be quite different in an effort to meet common goals!”

The Leadership Group will meet again in September to tour Wightman Farms in Morristown, NJ and conclude their yearlong program at the New York Produce Show and Conference in December.




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