LEADelaware, sponsored by the University of Delaware, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, UD Cooperative Extension, and the Delaware Department of Agriculture is seeking new candidates to train as agricultural leadership fellows for its two-year program. The program is scheduled to begin September, 2012.
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.
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, 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 three-member leadership team that will conduct class sessions beginning in September, 2012.
McGowan explained that LEADelware fellows will work together over two years on a variety of agriculture and natural resource issues, all the while developing and enhancing personal and organizational leadership skills.
“People come together as strangers or acquaintances and form long-standing relationships that expand their capacities, help them to engage on issues critical to Delaware and regional agriculture, and gain an international perspective as well, “ McGowan said. “LEADelaware is a great start for those ready to expand their horizons and embark on a continual learning adventure.”
Joining McGowan in coordinating the program and leading the sessions are Tom Ilvento, chair of UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Department of Food and Resource Economics, Laurie Wolinski, UD Extension Associate in Food and Resource Economics.
Past fellows have included agricultural Extension agents, high school agriculture teachers, farmers, agency personnel representing USDA Farm Service Agency, Natural Resource and Conservation Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Delaware Department of Agriculture and Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, MidAtlantic Farm Credit, an aerial applicator, and commercial agriculture industry professionals.
The LEADelaware programs seeks to fulfill its third class, recruiting 15-20 individuals from diverse agricultural professions.
For more information about LEADelaware and the application process for Class III, contact Laurie Wolinkski at email@example.com or call (302) 831-2538. Application deadline is August 10, 2012. You may also visit LEADelaware’s website.
2010-2011 LEADelaware graduates:First row: Judith Leith (Camden), Maryann Reed (Felton), Karen Breeding (Bridgeville), Bill McGowan Standing: Mark J. Davis (Georgetown), Tom Ilvento, Jeff Chorman (Greenwood), Laurie Wolinski, Ron Lindale (Milford) , Kristin Pusey (Seaford), Darryl Moore (Smyrna), Jennifer Walls (Milford), Cory Atkins (Laurel), Jennifer Volk (Smyrna), Jayme Arthurs (Houston), Mark A. Davis (Harrington). Photo by Anne Camasso
Thirteen participants in the second class of LEADelaware celebrated a graduation ceremony on Friday, June 3, at the USDA State Service Center in Dover, capping two years of agricultural leadership training which began in Seaford, helping to raise a Habitat for Humanity residence and culminating with a tour of Peru’s agricultural industry (click link for photos). In between, the fellows enriched their personal style of leadership with a variety of experiences that broadened their interaction with Delaware agriculture – an industry, according to a recent University of Delaware study, that contributes $7.9 billion to Delaware’s economy.
LEADelaware fellows met regularly over a two-year period. The participants brought diverse agricultural backgrounds and experiences to inspire each other to implement new ideas to benefit the industry. Among the 13 fellows were three farmers, others were agency personnel representing USDA Farm Service Agency, Natural Resource and Conservation Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Delaware Department of Agriculture and Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, MidAtlantic Farm Credit, an aerial applicator, high school agriculture teacher and commercial agricultural industry professionals.
Their agenda over two years, coordinated by Tom Ilvento, chair of UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Department of Food and Resource Economics, Bill McGowan, UD Community Development Extension Agent in Sussex County and Laurie Wolinski, UD Extension Associate in Food and Resource Economics Department included:
- Examination of public perception of agriculture by viewing and discussing the documentary Food Inc. within the college and with LEADelaware alumni
- Touring animal and crop farms in Delaware including UD’s farm
- Visited the Delaware Biotechnology Institute in Newark
- Met with local media
- Visited Washington, D.C.
- Developed and practiced leadership skills including conflict resolution, communication and decision-making.
- Developed stretch goals with Mike Nally, of Lead Your Way Solutions.
Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee, who led the first LEADelaware class while serving as a UD Cooperative Extension Specialist, noted the importance of leadership for this industry. Delaware agriculture is a significant and diverse economic force. Change is constant. The class of LEADelaware II fully recognizes the challenges and rewards ahead and looks forward to playing their part.
LEADelaware seeks to build the next generation of leaders within the food, fiber and natural resources industries in Delaware. Sponsors include the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, UD Cooperative Extension, Delaware Department of Agriculture and MidAtlantic Farm Credit.