Accepting Applications for Next Class

We are excited to announce we are now accepting applications for our fourth fellowship class, which will run for two years starting in January 2016. Applications must be received by Nov. 13; applicantGroup1s will be notified of their selection in early December.

LEADelaware is designed to help build the next generation of leaders within the food and fiber sectors that influence our food system, our economy and our environment.

“The development of leaders in today’s agricultural and natural resources fields is more important than ever,” says Dean Mark Rieger of the University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), which is a lead partner in the program. “Delaware farmers must have the skills to discuss critical issues with public and policy makers at the local, state and even national levels.”

The program consists of ten sessions throughout Delaware and Washington, D.C., as well as an international agricultural visit. Fellows will learn about agriculture, food systems, policymaking and hands-on leadership skills. You can find the calendar under Program Expectations and Calendar.

You can apply by clicking here and downloading the word file or contact Holly Porter at the Delaware Department of Agriculture at or 302-698-4503.

LEADelaware is a partnership between CANR and the Delaware Department of Agriculture, as well as sponsors including MidAtlantic Farm Credit and the Delaware Soybean Board. For more information on the program, visit

Be the Tree – Tips from Secretary Rita Landgraf

Secretary Rita Landgraf

Secretary Rita Landgraf

One of our speakers at our first session was Secretary Rita Landgraf from Health & Social Services. She leads the largest agency in Delaware, manages hundreds of programs for Delawarean’s and has a 30 member leadership team to coordinate. During her talk, she gave some tips to the Fellows that she has learned along the way.

  • Expectations – With that many people to manage and organize, it’s important to set some expectations, so that people know what you are wanting from them.
  • Effective Follower – in order to be a great leader, you also have to know when to follow.
  • Three P’s – Perseverance, Persistence and Passion – use those to keep you moving forward.
  • Be the Tree – if something is part of your core values, then stand tall, like a mighty tree; if something is simply an issue of style, learn to bend like the branches.
  • Mentor – if you aren’t sure if it’s a standing tall or bending moment, ask a mentor.

These may sound like simple tips, but she confessed that it has taken her many years to understand them, and she still struggles at times.

What are the core values that make you stand tall? Let us know.

LEADelaware Takes DC

We’ve been busy with baWhiteHouseGroupck-to-back sessions in February, March and April, so we apologize for the delay in posts. In March we were excited to visit Washington D.C. and talk with lobbyists from DuPont, American Farm Bureau and the National Association of State Departments of Ag, visited our legislative assistants, had a tour of the Capitol and White House, met with representatives from the United States Humane Society, had our photo taken with USDA Under Secretary Michael Scuse (a good ole’ Delaware farm boy) and met up with ag leadership fellows from New Jersey. SSSHHH, it was a busy three days.

Check out some of the great photos from our trip by clicking here.

Delaware’s Legislative Process – Session 3

By Ben Snow, Class III Fellow


Class III Fellow, Ben Snow

Our third session of LEADelaware  was February 6 – 7 and focused on legislation.  We started with an overview of the public policy process.  We then had legislators and lobbyists come and speak to us about both sides of legislature. This included learning about giving testimony to state legislators, the functions of a lobbyist, and the challenges of becoming a legislator.

We also heard from Jonathan Russ, a State Government Historian, and learned a lot of interesting facts about the DuPont family and how they both grew their company and gave back generously to the state in different ways.

We ended our first day by giving presentations on possible destinations for our international trip, which included rating each country on different criteria.

The second day started with the first three leadership book reviews, which were given by Jimmy Hughes, Lauren Torres, and myself.  We then had a very nice tour of legislative hall and heard about the origins and history of the legislative halls in Delaware and also about how the house and senate operate during sessions.

Our last guest was Dan Shortridge from the DDA who spoke to us about working with the media and how to effectively write a press release. We formed groups to do another argument clinic this time revolving around Jayson Lusk’s Food Police.

We ended session 3 by going over the scores for our international trip options and settled on New Zealand.  This session was very interesting in that we were able to see the different sides of legislature that we may not have had to opportunity to see otherwise.

LEADelaware’s Session IV will take place March 12 – 14 in Washington DC. Check back for updates from that trip.

Session III Photos

LEADelaware Class III at Legislative Hall

LEADelaware Class III at Legislative Hall

On February 6-7 the LEADelaware Class III held its third session. The topic was public policy in the state of Delaware. The group learned about writing policy, FOIA rules, historical Delaware leaders, giving testimony, how to work with the media and more.



They also enjoyed a panel of legislators to talk about how they got started and a panel of lobbyists discussing their roles in public policy.

Check back later to get a recap from one of our LEAD fellows. Click here to see a photo set from the session.