Application Process Begins For LSU AgCenter Leadership Programs Next Class

Robert Soileau  |  4/25/2007 2:02:03 AM

News Release Distributed 04/24/07

What does it take to become a more effective leader for agriculture? Many of the answers to that question are part of the LSU AgCenter’s Agricultural Leadership Development Program, and applications are now available for its 11th class, which will begin in January 2008.

"We believe investing in people is the way to ensure a vibrant future for agriculture and for the state," said LSU AgCenter Chancellor Bill Richardson. "Our alumni from this program have gone on to become state leaders."

Established in 1988, the Ag Leadership Program provides potential leaders involved with agriculture and agribusiness the tools they need to become more effective voices for agriculture, according to Dr. Bobby Soileau, who will serve as program director for the LSU AgCenter. Since its inception, more than 300 people have graduated from the program.

"It is a great opportunity to learn about the critical issues facing agriculture," said Soileau. "In addition, the leadership skills participants develop give them the confidence they need to become more effective communicators for agriculture."

The curriculum includes 10 seminars over a two-year period – seven on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge and three at other locations.

The off-campus seminars include visits to Washington, D.C., to meet with the country’s leaders in agricultural policy and to California to see how their agricultural operations deal with environmental regulatory issues. The final seminar is an international study tour during which the group visits another country to learn how other agricultural, economic and social systems work.

"The international study tour is an eye-opening experience. They visit with farmers, government officials, agribusiness professionals and the citizens of other countries," Soileau explained. "The purpose is to help class members understand they have to be prepared to compete globally."

Applications are available at parish LSU AgCenter Extension offices or on the LSU AgCenter Web site at www.lsuagcenter.com/agleadership.

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Contact: Bobby Soileau at (225) 578-5670 or bsoileau@agcenter.lsu.edu

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