In 2018, Mattie Leid participated in USApples Young Apple Leader Program. She joined the apple industry after a career in health care and has found it rewarding. Her trip to the Capitol opened many doors for growth and opportunity.

Mattie in front of the nation's Capitol for USApple Young Leaders Program

Mattie in front of the nation's Capitol for USApple Young Leaders Program

By Mattie Leid, Hess Brother's Fruit Co.

In March of 2018 I was honored to be selected into the USApple Young Apple Leaders program. This program allowed me to connect, build relationships, and network with other apple growers and leaders across the United States. It gave me a better understanding of federal regulatory and legislative issues occurring within the apple industry. I learned a lot more about the US Apple Association and all the hard work they do to help support our industry. A big thank you to all of the sponsors who make it possible to become a young apple leader. It is an experience that I will never forget, and it has opened many doors of growth and opportunity.

Born and raised in Lancaster County, currently residing in the city of Lancaster, I would have never imagined myself in marketing of apples for Hess Brothers Fruit Company. Even though I have always had an admiration for apples, especially new apple varieties, that career never crossed my mind.

I was in Oncology Nursing for almost 10 years at which time I met Fred Hess, former CEO of Hess Brothers Fruit Company, as I was caring for him at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute. Fred brought in a sample of their own new variety Sweet Cheeks(r) and after the first bite, I quickly connected Fred with Rijuice, and Maison, both local businesses in Lancaster. It was no surprise that they started sourcing their apple needs from Hess Brother's. Fred came back a few months later and inquired if I had any interest in joining the Hess Brothers team focusing on sales and marketing, since it was obvious I could sell an apple or two. With little hesitation, I took the job. It was a pleasure having a desk situated right next to Fred. Anytime a question arose, or I was having trouble figuring something out, I could simply lean my chair back and say "Hey Fred, what do you think about this," and he always seemed to have the answers.

I have been with Hess Brothers for almost 3 years. I have enjoyed this new opportunity, and every day I am amazed at how far I have come, and learned, yet how much I still have to learn. The produce industry is constantly evolving, making every day a learning experience.

Contact us

Donald Seifrit
  • Extension Educator, Tree Fruit