GAP Connections Announces Four New Associate Members

Nonprofit supporting best practices in tobacco farming joins with other agricultural organizations to promote environmental awareness and safe work environments, support education, training, and resource development.

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GAP Connections aims to streamline the U.S. Tobacco Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Program for farmers.

We help farmers create a better product and a safer work environment, and give manufacturers more confidence in the agricultural products they purchase.

Knoxville, Tenn. (PRWEB) July 28, 2014

GAP Connections , a nonprofit aiming to create awareness and cultivate positive environmental and social impact through good agricultural practices in the tobacco industry, announced that it has four new Associate Members.

The four new GAP Connections Associate Members are:

  •     The Agriculture Workforce Management Association (AWMA), which supports foreign workers seeking temporary visas for agricultural work.
  •     The Council for Burley Tobacco, a grower organization that represents the interests of farmers who grow burley tobacco.
  •     The Lancaster County Conservation District, which works to grow awareness of the relationship between human activities and the environment, and focuses attention on the wise use of land, water, and other resources in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
  •     The Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina (TGANC), which supports tobacco producers across the state.

GAP Connections aims to streamline the U.S. Tobacco Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Program for farmers by providing them with education and guidelines about crop production, managing land use, protecting the environment, ensuring the rights of farm laborers, and simple procedures coordinated with industry buyers and manufacturers.
The organization’s Associate Membership program unites growers, companies, and stakeholders around good agricultural practices. Associate Members partner with GAP Connections to provide input and expertise that supports GAP education, training, and resource development.

“We are funded by agricultural purchasing groups and other organizations interested in good agricultural practices,” said Jane Starnes, executive director of GAP Connections. “By bringing some of these groups together as Associate Members to help us promote good practices, we help farmers create a better product and a safer work environment, and give manufacturers more confidence in the agricultural products they purchase.”

Any private or public organization that represents those who have a commercial interest in the agriculture industry, such as farm/grower organizations and input suppliers, are eligible to become Associate Members of GAP Connections. Private Associate Members represent any private organization or company. Public Associate Members represent public organizations, such as a land grant university or governmental agency.

Private Associate Members pay annual dues to GAP Connections. To become a Public Associate Member, organizations need a letter of endorsement. Memberships support the U.S. Tobacco GAP Program, meetings with stakeholders and committees, printing of materials, and support for training and resource development. Members receive recognition on the GAP Connections website and other materials, participation in stakeholder events, and a voice in U.S. Tobacco GAP standard setting process as all organizations work to promote good agriculture practices for tobacco farmers.

“These Associate Members will help us continue our work to educate and support farmers,” said Starnes. “I’m happy to have these four organizations as our Associate Members, and I look forward to continuing growth of our Associate Membership program.”

To learn more about the GAP Connections program and its Associate Members, please call 865-622-4606 or visit http://www.gapconnections.com.

About GAP Connections
GAP Connections acts as a clearinghouse between tobacco growers and manufacturers while developing, maintaining, and providing leadership for industry agricultural standards and practices. GAP Connections strives to create connections between: growers and educational opportunities; manufacturers and growers; and tobacco industry entities and potential partners. GAP provides growers with the best standards in agricultural practices needed to produce a quality crop while protecting, sustaining or enhancing the environment. To contact GAP Connections, call 865-622-4606 or visit http://www.gapconnections.com.

About Agriculture Workforce Management Association
Agriculture Workforce Management Association, Inc. (AWMA) was established to provide support services for obtaining temporary work visas for agricultural labor. The organization’s goals are to provide a reliable workforce with the H-2A Visa Program, provide technical assistance to all clients in the areas of visa regulations, act as a liaison between clients and government agencies, provide a voice for farmers on labor issues, and educate agriculture and non-agriculture businesses on the H Visa Programs. To learn more, visit http://www.awmalabor.com.

About The Council for Burley Tobacco
The Council for Burley Tobacco is a grower organization that was established to represent the interests of the burley tobacco grower in all segments of the burley industry, encourage and develop a better understanding between burley producers and the general public, and provide a forum in which all matters of the tobacco industry may be discussed. All burley tobacco producers are eligible for membership in the Council for Burley Tobacco. In addition, established organizations and associations constituted with a membership with a direct interest and concern in burley tobacco production are eligible for membership, but the representatives for these organizations and associations must be active burley tobacco producers or the President of the organization or association. To learn more, visit http://www.councilforburleytobacco.com.

About The Lancaster County Conservation District
For over 50 years the purpose of the Lancaster County Conservation District has been to increase awareness of the relationship between human activities and our natural environment. The District helps to focus attention on the wise use of the land, water, and related natural resources. It provides assistance to individuals and public and private organizations in solving the complex problems of our environment. To learn more, visit http://www.lancasterconservation.org.

About The Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina
The Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina (TGANC) is an organization of 50 directors who work to support tobacco growers in all regions of North Carolina. Directors are elected to serve two-year terms, and any grower in good standing is eligible for election. TGANC monitors the impact of state legislation on tobacco growers and works to be a voice of reason that aids farmers in their business goals and supports North Carolinians who choose to use tobacco products. To learn more, visit http://www.tganc.com.


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