Amanda Russell
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Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Kicks Off First Day of Almond Alliance Convention

Lihue, Hawaii – Almond Alliance’s highly anticipated Annual Convention was opened by US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who reaffirmed the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) commitment to supporting the almond industry. The Secretary of Agriculture highlighted significant funding allocations, including over $5 million to Blue Diamond Growers and $220,000 to the Almond Board of California from the Foreign Market Development Program. The initiatives are designed to promote almond producers’ international market potential and sustain their long-term profitability.

Attendees were captivated by insightful presentations covering a variety of topics critical to industry advancement. Henderson Hatfield’s Stacy Henderson shared valuable insights on navigating employment disputes, while Flory Industries’ Todd Wille explained the importance of resilience and sustainability. Aubrey Bettencourt, the outgoing CEO of the Almond Alliance, led a thought-provoking discussion on the future of the Almond Alliance, calling for members to embrace innovative growth strategies. Keynote Speaker Marian Tupy of the Cato Institute delivered a captivating address, challenging guests to bend their minds with his counterintuitive examination of why population growth and freedom to innovate make Earth’s resources more, not less, abundant. 

A number of breakout sessions offered attendees the chance to discuss specific topics, including the Huller Sheller Committee Meeting and Government Relations discussions relating to advocacy work the Alliance had done in Sacramento and Washington, DC. The convention also recognized outstanding contributions within the almond community, naming Flory Industries as Associate Member of the Year and honoring Steve Kortoff of Purity Organics as Member of the Year in recognition of his exemplary leadership and dedication.

The Almond Alliance Convention continues to provide industry leaders with a premier platform to exchange ideas, form partnerships, and drive innovation. Dedicated to advancing almond industry interests on both a domestic and international basis, the Alliance remains at the forefront of supporting growth and sustainability.


Almond Alliance is the leading authority in state and national policy, championing American almond farmers, industry, and community for the continued global growth, innovation, and success of American almonds and agriculture.

Established in 1980, the Almond Alliance is a non-profit trade association with a local and international network of almond processors, hullers/shellers, growers, and allied businesses. The Alliance is dedicated to providing resources and solutions for our members, ensuring industry success and growth opportunities. Learn more at