Julia Belliard, Executive Director
Agricultural Personnel Management Association
Growing up in the city of Minsk, Belarus, Julia Belliard, Executive Director of the Salinas-based Agricultural Personnel Management Association (APMA), was about as far removed from California agribusiness as one can get. In fact, it wasn’t until she moved to Salinas to learn English and attend college that Julia discovered how important the area is to the state’s agribusiness community.
After earning her master’s degree in public administration from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey and key professional designations in her specialization of human resources, Julia quickly found HR work in the area, which subsequently led her into agribusiness.
“Thirteen years ago, I was a newcomer to the agricultural industry,” says Julia. “I had to learn everything, but was fortunate to have great mentors along the way.” One of them was the late Paul Powell, former UnitedAg Board Chairman and Trustee, and retired Director of Finance and Administration at Foothill Packing Inc. “Paul taught me a lot about the industry as a whole, and especially the importance of labor and employment in agribusiness success.”
Today, in her leadership role at APMA, Julia helps her association’s members stay compliant with ever-changing labor, employment and safety regulations as part of its broader mission “to encourage and develop creative leadership and effective personnel management within the agribusiness community.”
Among the key issues she is passionate about, and which her association’s members grapple with every day, are the same ones being address addressed in UnitedAg’s WomenAg Leadership Academy. These include the current agricultural labor shortage, the lack of immigration reform, and a need for greater public awareness of agribusiness’s contributions to the nation’s economic vitality and overall health and well-being.”
“I’m always looking for opportunities to network, advance my leadership skills and broaden my perspectives,” says Julia. “I was thrilled to learn UnitedAg was forming this academy. It’s a unique group of women ag leaders. Our professional interests and goals are closely aligned, and we’re learning a lot from each other, and from UnitedAg CEO Kirti Mutatkar and her team. My involvement has already given me greater confidence to get more involved in the legislative process, which is so important to our industry’s future.”