Apply for LEADelaware Class V

LEADelaware, the state’s agriculture and natural resources leadership program, is now accepting applications for its fifth fellowship class, which will run for two years starting in January 2018. Applications must be received by October 27; applicants 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.

LEADelaware Fellows meet with Sen. Chris Coons during their recent session to Washington, D.C.

“The development of leaders in today’s agricultural and natural resources fields is more important than ever,” says Michael Scuse, Secretary at the Delaware Department of Agriculture, 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, policy making and hands-on leadership skills.  View LEADelaware video recaps from a sample of these sessions.

Candidates must be a resident of Delaware or work in Delaware agriculture or natural resources for at least two years. This includes farmers, growers, industry suppliers, agribusiness employees and government agency professionals. Applications are available at or by contacting Grace Wisser at the University of Delaware at or 302-831-4722.

LEADelaware is a partnership between University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Delaware Department of Agriculture, as well as sponsors including MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc., and the Delaware Soybean Board.

Contact: Kenny Bounds, Delaware Department of Agriculture, 302-698-4529 office, 302-698-7554 cell,

LEADelaware seeks new generation of agriculture leaders for its 2012-2014 class

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 that will begin in the fall, 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 the fall of 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 or call (302) 831-2538.

Welcome to LEADelaware

LEADelaware is an agricultural and natural resource leadership program LEADelaware is a agricultural and natural resource leadership program designed to help build the next generation of leaders within the food and fiber industries that influences our food system,

LEADelaware fellows - Class of 2011-2012

our economy, and our environment. Leadership is a critical component for any industry to respond to the political social and economic issues it faces on a day‐to‐day basis. Agriculture and related industries need experienced and trained advocates to
provide a voice and a direction for the future. The business of agriculture has grown in new areas with new technology and production strategies. The need to translate the needs of this industry to the public and policy makers is critical
Producers face greater risk, changing markets, a global economy, new technologies and pressures from development. Producers also find themselves stewards of their own environmental resources as well as those surrounding their operations. The
need for leadership within the agricultural sector is essential. The philosophy of LEADelaware is to build leadership capacity in agriculture and natural resources
in Delaware by investing in a class of emerging leaders. In our framework, leaders are not born nor can we simply make someone a leader by teaching them a set of skills. However, we can invest in emerging leaders by imparting knowledge, skills, and opportunities to lead.

The LEADelaware Program will seek to recruit a class of 10 – 15 leaders in Delaware and take them through a two-year program that will:

  • Provide an atmosphere of individual and group learning and growth
  • Build leadership capacity of the participants
  • Build leadership skills of the participants
  • Provide opportunities for participants to practice these skills within the program
  • Facilitate this learning in the context of current issues and problems facing the state, agriculture, and natural resource issues