(06/07/22) BATON ROUGE, La. — The application for Class XVIII of the LSU AgCenter Agricultural Leadership Development Program is now available. The new class will begin in January 2023 and will be completed in February 2025.
“The Agricultural Leadership Development Program is one of the most visible and important contributions of the LSU AgCenter to the citizens of the Louisiana,” said Luke Laborde, interim vice president for agriculture and dean of the College of Agriculture. “Its graduates continue to advance our state, playing leading roles in agricultural production, agribusiness industry associations, and government.”
Established in 1988, the program provides potential leaders involved with agriculture and agribusiness the tools they need to become a more effective voice for the industry, according to Bobby Soileau, who serves as program director. Since its inception, more than 400 people have graduated from the program.
“It is a great opportunity to learn about the critical issues facing agriculture,” Soileau said. “In addition, the leadership skills participants develop give them the confidence they need to become more effective communicators and leaders for agriculture.”
The curriculum includes 10 seminars during the two years — seven lecture-based seminars in various locations throughout the state and three travel seminars. The travel seminars will include a visit to Washington, D.C., to meet with the country’s leaders in agricultural policy. Participants also will travel to another state to learn about agricultural issues there. The final seminar will be an international study tour during which the group will visit 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 said. “The class will understand they have to be prepared to compete globally.”
Participants pay a small portion of the costs for their study and travel. The bulk of the program funding is underwritten by endowments and annual giving through the LSU Foundation, including the Chalkley Family Endowment, the H. Rouse Caffey Endowment, the Robert R. Soileau Scholarship Endowment and the Ag Leaders of Louisiana Endowment.
Go to the ag leadership website at www.lsuagcenter.com/agleadership to apply.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture