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LEADelaware extends Class III deadline

LEADelaware class members on an international agribusiness trip

As an industry, agriculture contributes $8 billion dollars annually to the Delaware economy, according to a 2010 University of Delaware study. Continued effective and progressive leadership in the agriculture sector is essential.

LEADelaware is an agricultural and natural resource leadership program designed to help build the next generation of leaders within the food and fiber industries.  Sponsored by University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, UD Cooperative Extension, and the Delaware Department of Agriculture LEADelaware is seeking new candidates to train as agricultural leadership fellows from Delaware’s broad and varied agricultural community.

The LEADelaware Class III planning committee has announced  revised dates for its two-year agricultural leadership program. Sessions will begin on May 15, 2013 and will continue through the spring of 2015.  The deadline to register has been extended to February 15, 2013.

During the two-year training program, fellows will participate in teamwork and leadership-capacity building exercises. They will be provided opportunities to practice these skills and will visit local and regional agribusinesses, and meet with policy makers that affect the agriculture industry. In the second year of the program, the LEADelaware class will plan an international trip to experience diverse agricultural practices, thus broadening their perspectives. The first and second classes visited Chile and Peru, respectively.

“LEADelaware is an opportunity to learn and experience leadership,” says Bill McGowan, UD community development Extension agent in Sussex County and part of a leadership team that will conduct class sessions.

Past fellows have included agricultural Extension agents, high school agriculture teachers, farmers, commercial agriculture industry professionals, and industry personnel representing USDA Farm Service Agency, Natural Resource and Conservation Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Delaware Department of Agriculture, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and MidAtlantic Farm Credit.

The LEADelaware programs seeks to fulfill its third class, recruiting 15-20 individuals from diverse agricultural professions. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

For more information about LEADelaware and the application process for Class III, visit the program website, or contact Laurie Wolinkski by email  or call (302) 831-2538.