Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarship Program

Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail

The Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarship Program provides scholarships for representatives from family businesses to participate in The Washington Conference, the produce industry's premier political advocacy event.

Congratulations to our 2014 Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarship Recipients!

  • Nick Chappell, California Giant Berry Farms, Watsonville, CA
  • Mary Griffin Campbell, Griffin Ranches, Somerton, AZ
  • Tyler Phipps, Market Fresh Produce, Nixa, MO
  • Cody Ramsey, Mann Packing Co., Salinas, CA

The Family Business Scholarship Program was launched in 2001 by Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins, Frieda's, Inc. on behalf of their mother, Frieda Rapoport Caplan. Through this program, up to four scholarships are awarded to employees of United Fresh member, family-owned businesses, to attend the The Washington Conference each year. 

Scholarship recipients receive complimentary roundtrip airfare, two nights hotel, and a full registration to attend The Washington Conference, which brings together hundreds of produce leaders from all sectors of the industry to interact personally and share ideas with Administration officials, Congressional leaders, and industry colleagues. 

Alex Jackson, 2013 Winners: Bridget Bengard, Dan Henry
Robert Holthouse, Kimball Redd, and Karen Caplan.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted in the summer. Candidates must complete an application form, including brief essays about why they want to attend The Washington Conference and what they hope to gain from the experience.  Read more about the program here!

Applicants must be first-time attendees to The Washington Conference and employed by a family-owned business* that is a United Fresh member company in good standing.

Applications are evaluated by the Scholarship Review Committee and up to four scholarships are awarded each year.

*A family business is generally defined as a “business in which two or more family members are involved and the majority of ownership or control lies within a family.” 

For questions or to receive information on the Caplan Family Business Scholarship Program, please contact United Fresh Education Manager, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , at 202-303-3405.

Past Scholarship Winners


2013 Scholarship Recipients

  • Bridget Bengard, Bengard Ranch Inc., Salinas, California
  • Dan Henry, W.D. Henry & Sons, Eden, New York
  • Robert Holthouse, Holthouse Farms of Ohio Inc., Willard, Ohio
  • Kimball Redd, Muir Copper Canyon Farms, Salt Lake City, Utah 


2012 Scholarship Recipients

  • Martha Montoya, Los Kitos, Orange, California
  • Daniel Mueller, Volm Companies, Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • T.J. Rahll, Edward G. Rahll & Sons, Inc., Jessup, Maryland
  • Kurt Schuster, Val Verde Vegetable Co., Inc., McAllen, Texas

2011 Scholarship Recipients

  • Barbara Daly, Testa Produce Inc., Chicago, Illinois
  • Micah Desmond, Northeast Packaging Company, Presque Isle, Maine
  • Tami Martin, Black Gold, Grand Forks, North Dakota
  • John J. Pandol, Pandol Bros. Inc., Delano, California

2010 Scholarship Recipients

  • Kiley Harper-Larsen, Hugh Branch, Inc., Pahokee, Florida
  • Chelsea McClarty, HMC Farms Kingsburg, California
  • Ben Rice, Rice Fruit Company, Gardners, Pennsylvania
  • Mark Stevenson, Meijer, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2009 Scholarship Recipients

  • Megan Chedwick, Church Brothers, Salinas, Calif
  • Julia Inestroza, Gourmet Trading Company, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Nicholas Mascari, Indianapolis Fruit Company, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • David Scaroni, Valley Harvesting and Packing, Heber, Calif.

2008 Scholarship Recipients

  • Kenneth Crabtree, Pacific Coast Fruit Co., Portland, OR
  • Gahl Crane, Prime Produce International, LLC, Orange, CA
  • Jose Garcia, Rene Produce, LLC, Nogales, AZ
  • Tracie Levin, M. Levin and Co., Inc., Philadelphia, PA

2007 Scholarship Recipients

  • Milas Russell III, Sandstone Marketing, Inc., Yuma, AZ
  • Kristine Zerr, Domex Superfresh Growers, Yakima, WA
  • Sam Stewart, Wes Pak Sales, Inc., Dinuba, CA
  • Milton Voss, Pero Vegetable LLC., Delray Beach, FL

2006 Scholarship Recipients

  • Aaron Buurma, Buurma Farms, Inc., Willard, OH
  • Luawanna Hallstrom, Oceanside Produce, Inc., Oceanside, CA
  • Jason LaBarba, Ideal Sales, Inc., Dallas, TX
  • Kari Valdés, Mills Family Farms, Salinas, CA

2005 Scholarship Recipients

  • Frederic M. Recchiuti, Basciani Mushroom Farms, Avondale, PA
  • Elizabeth Gross, Capurro Marketing, LLC, Moss Landing, CA

2004 Scholarship Recipients

  • Anne Turkal, MCL Distributing, Los Angeles, CA
  • Sarah Frey Talley, Frey Produce, LLC, Keenes, IL

2003 Scholarship Recipients

  • Ashley Patricio, Westside Produce, Firebaugh, CA
  • Wes Liefer, West-Lake Produce, Los Angeles, CA

2002 Scholarship Recipients

  • Phil Herbig, Wes-Pak Sales, Dinuba, CA
  • Chad Szutz's, A-W Produce Company, Weslaco, TX

2001 Scholarship Recipients

  • Ron Fode, Fode Farms, Moses Lake, WA
  • Cecilia Tudor Rose, Tudor Ranch, Mecca, CA

What Participants Are Saying

"This scholarship afforded me the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and immerse myself in the issues that our industry is facing" said Dan Henry, W.D. Henry & Sons, Inc. "It's easy to get accustomed to day-to-day activities, and this program really opened my eyes to the importance of getting politically engaged and speaking up—after all, our livelihoods are at stake."

Dan Henry
, W.D. Henry & Sons, Inc.

"This was one of the most educational and enjoyable business trips that I have ever been on. In addition to learning about our industry's political agenda, I learned a lot more about the political process in general at this conference than a semesters worth of college classes."

Kimball Redd, Project Manager/Food Safety Director, Muir Copper Canyon Farms

"This scholarship afforded such a unique opportunity to connect with our nation's lawmakers and gain a deeper understanding of the policy-making process, and how these policies impact my family business," said 2012 scholarship recipient, TJ Rahll, Edward G. Rahll & Sons, Inc. "Walking the halls of Congress was an incredible experience and one that highlighted how important it is to be engaged so that our industry's voice is heard in DC."

T.J. Rahll, Operations Manager, Edward G. Rahll & Sons, Inc.

"As a first time attendee to the Washington Public Policy Conference, I quickly learned how important it is that we all have a voice in Capitol Hill. This is the perfect opportunity to express our concerns to lawmakers and federal agencies, to ensure that the interests of family-owned produce companies are taken into account."

Chelsea McClarty Ketelsen, Sales, HMC Marketing

"The face to face time with decision makers was amazing. Visits to the Capitol Hills offices truly give you a human perspective to our nation's decision makers."

Kiley Harper-Larsen, Director of Compliance and Safety, Hugh Branch, Inc.

"The WPPC and Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarship gave me the opportunity to see how influential politics can be on our industry, and how important it is that we have a strong unified voice. I feel more prepared to represent our industry and make sure family businesses can continue to thrive in a changing political environment."

Julia Inestroza, Gourmet Trading Company

"The conference really opened my eyes to our industry's need for involvement and advocacy. I have walked with an ignited passion and desire to be a voice for our industry to help advance the policies that are not only in the best interest of the industry, but our country too."

Nick Mascari, Indianapolis Fruit Company