Busy January for Fellows

It was a busy January for many of the LEADelaware Fellows. They had the opportunity to meet the author of The Food Police, Jayson Lusk at a seminar at University of Delaware. Many fellows also attended the Agriculture Industry Dinner at Dover Downs.

LEADelaware, Class III, Jayson Lusk, Food Police

LEADelaware Class III fellows with author Jayson Lusk.

LEADelaware, Class III, agriculture

LEADelaware Class III Fellows enjoy the 2014 Ag Industry Dinner in January. L to R: Lauren Torres, Philip Dukes, Ben Coverdale, Lynda Wright, Trudy Kruger and Jimmy Hughes.

LEADelaware, Class III, Philip Dukes, Agriculture Dinner

LEADelaware Class III Fellow Philip Dukes meets Governor Markell at Ag Industry Dinner.

Challenges & Opportunities – Session 2

TrudyCalfBy Trudy Kruger, Class III Fellow

After some review, updates and follow-up from the instructors, Holly started us off with “Tips on Effective Presentation Skills.” She said that we teach presentation skills because we are going to be presenting in our jobs and communities.  Important points were to know your topic and goals, and to know your audience.  In the introductory speech, it is very important to tell about yourself and your credibility.  Do not be afraid to say “I do not know”.  Holly is the expert on giving presentations today.  The most important thing about your presentation is the way you say it; the tone of your voice and the volume is important for speakers.

We transitioned over to the presentation by David Small, Deputy Secretary (DNREC). He spoke about turning challenges into opportunities for Delaware’s environment.  A very informative speech about air and water quality in our area by describing the impurities in the air causing air pollution and affecting cover crops and watersheds.  He also referred to cost share programs and more grants for infrastructure and how they plan for the future.

We moved on to the overview of Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation and Delaware Young Farmer’s Program.  This was a panel of three speakers: Austin Short and Bob Garey, committee member of Ag Preservation Program; and Robbie Emerson, a Delaware farmer who is in the Young Farmer’s Program.  Austin Short spoke about the Ag Preservation Program and how it allows and keeps Delaware farm land in farming.  Bob Garey spoke about the funding for the Delaware Ag Preservation Program.  Farmers want their land in this program to help protect the future of farming with the hopes that young people will continue the traditions of farming.  Delaware young farmer Robbie Emerson spoke about his participation in the Young Farmer’s Program.  He spoke about the challenges and experiences he had starting his own farm through the program.  These programs are very valuable to the state of Delaware because it is an investment in the control of growth in open spaces.

We enjoyed a great lunch sponsored by DDA.  Then we formed three groups to participate in an argument clinic through a structured Public Forum debate about the Health and Safety of GMO Foods.  A great Public Forum Debate was done by three groups as follows:  Group 1. Safe Food and Grain Alliance; Group 2. CPA (Concerned Parents of America); Group 3. The Science Alliance. With persistence, the arguments were made and the session was enjoyed by all the fellows.

After a short break, we focused on our International Trip.  We were given questions to start the thinking of the location and dynamics involved.  Then we did a type of affinity diagram working in silence raising our own questions and concerns about the trip.  The fellows will start to brainstorm certain locations and do a 10 minute presentation in February on the countries assigned.  Tom did a wonderful presentation on Making Sense of Data – statistics!  We did our best to  understand the new concepts that he presented.

Finally, the last speaker was Mark Davis, with DDA.  He spoke about proposed legislation from Ag tourism, Ag land Preservation, the right to farm, and others. Holly assigned the start of the legislative project with the fellows picking a current piece of legislation to follow.  In February, March and April, they will give a brief update on what is happening with their legislation.

Love People


At our session two weeks ago, farmer, active Board member and retired teacher, Mr. Bob Garey, was asked to participate on a panel discussing the Delaware Ag Land Preservation and Young Farmer programs. After the panel, Bob shared some other leadership tips he had learned throughout his years to the fellows.

  • Love people – it’s important to really like being around people, in order to be effective in this world. No one can accomplish anything without help from other people so be sure to make connections and be thankful for those that help you, and then return the gesture by helping other people that you are able to support.
  • Positive attitude – no matter what, try to have a good attitude about things. That good attitude will be picked up by those around you and make tough tasks easier
  • Find the right people – you when are working with the right people, you can accomplish anything; if you don’t have the right people, you may need to look for others
  • Get people to pull together in the same direction – when everyone is going in the same direction, it is hard to stop a group
  • Everyone is important – no matter the person’s ability, everyone can have an important role in life and it is important to make them feel that way
  • Expect a lot – you will get the results that you expect of people, so expect a lot from them and you won’t be disappointed
  • Compliments are important – deserved compliments are priceless, but don’t give too many unwarranted ones – it will dilute the deserved ones
  • Roll with the punches – things are going to happen, go with it – that’s life
  • Define the foul line – make sure everyone knows the rules and warn people right away when they are breaking or crossing the rules

The Gift of Reading

Girl reading in a intimate way

Pedro Ribeiro Simoes

Are you still looking for some last minute holiday gifts? How about a good book? In particular, a good book on leadership. Anyone can benefit from this source, whether a current manager, a student in FFA, a 4-H leader or anyone in between.

We recently compiled a list of good leadership books for our Fellows to choose one and read. The Fellows will be asked to do a short report to the class throughout the next few sessions. Here are 10 favorites to get you started, in no particular order.

  • The Servant Leader: How to Build a Creative Team, Develop Great Morale and Improve Bottom-Line Performance, by James Autry.
  • Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different, by Karen Blumenthal
  • How to Win Friends & Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t, by Jim Collins
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, by Stephen Covey
  • Robert E. Lee on Leadership: Executive Lessons in Character, Courage & Vision, by H.W. Crocker III
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell
  • Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • How Successful People Lead: Taking Your Influence to the Next Level, John Maxwell

We have plenty more on the list – check back to see additional book suggestions for leaders. Or let us know your favorite leadership books.


Stand strong on beliefs; bend for style – Day 3

LEADelaware Class III, Jimmy Hughes

LEADelaware Class III Fellow Jimmy Hughes

By Jimmy Hughes, Class III Fellow

On Friday, we LEAD Fellows began our day with another great meal. After breakfast, Tom passed out our first reading assignment, a book called The Food Police. Fellows are asked to read the material and be able to discuss in an optional January session. The optional session is on Wednesday, January 15 when the author, Jayson Lusk, will be presenting at the University of Delaware. Tom will be providing more instructions as the time gets closer.

Our first speaker of the day was Jayme Arthurs from NRCS. Mr. Arthurs presented an overview of the LEAD Class II international study trip. The fellows heard about the entire experience and what to expect. Mr. Arthurs expressed the importance of journaling during the entire LEAD program.

Our second speaker, Secretary Rita Landgraf, spoke to us about the Department of Health & Social Services and what the jobs are in each section. Secretary Landgraf also provided her insights and her thoughts on leadership and what it takes to be a leader. Secretary Landgraf shared the image of the tree picture she has in her office and that you have to keep strong on your beliefs, but be able to learn to bend for issues that are just style differences.

Next, Tom presented the argument clinic. This presentation shared ideas on how to effectively argue but not attack the individual. Tom also showed examples of a letter to the editor that he wrote about an issue in Newark.

After Tom’s presentation, he passed out a list of books that are approved for each Fellow to choose one and read about leadership. The LEAD class and instructors discussed their final thoughts and thanked everyone for their participation. Our next LEAD session will be Thursday December 12th at the Delaware Department of Agriculture.