April 19, 2012 | By: Carol Lea Spence
LEXINGTON, KY.

The Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program is accepting applications for Class X.

KALP, housed in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, is an intensive two-year program designed for young agricultural producers and agribusiness individuals from Kentucky and Tennessee.

“This is a good fit for anyone who wants to be on the cutting edge of decisions that affect agriculture, rural communities and society in the 21st century,” said Will Snell, KALP co-director.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, residents of Kentucky or Tennessee, and be involved in some phase of agriculture. The Kentucky Agriculture Development Board requires at least 25 percent of the participants to be tobacco-dependent, defined as having received a Phase II or a tobacco-buyout check. There are no specific educational requirements.

The program dates back to the mid-1980s and was originally called the Philip Morris Agricultural Leadership Program, though it was never commodity specific. Philip Morris fully funded the first seven classes. Now more than 100 financial supporters, including the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board, Kentucky agribusinesses, farm organizations, program alumni and participant fees, provide funding.

The program consists of ten domestic seminars devoted to important agricultural issues. Sessions also focus on improving participants’ communication, leadership and management skills. Class members will visit a variety of Kentucky agribusinesses, Frankfort and Washington D.C., and will travel to other states and nations to explore agriculture in different settings. The previous nine classes have yielded 245 graduates, many of whom subsequently have taken on leadership positions within Kentucky agriculture.

“This program is not just about farming,” KALP co-director Steve Isaacs said. “Participants will polish essential leadership skills, identify common rural and urban concerns, understand current public policy issues and establish a basis for lifelong learning and development.”

Interest is expected to run high for the 22 seats available in Class X. Snell and Isaacs, both from the UK Department of Agricultural Economics, said they received 100 nominations for Class IX.

Candidates may be nominated by county extension agents, farm organizations, trade associations, alumni of previous leadership programs, other interested individuals or be self-nominated. The nomination form link and additional details can be found at the Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program website, http://www.uky.edu/Ag/KALP. Nominations are due June 1, 2012. All nominees will receive information about the program and procedures for submitting the required application, which will be due July 15, 2012.

A list of sponsors can be found at http://www.uky.edu/Ag/KALP/sponsors/currentdonors.pdf.

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Editor: Carol Spence, 859-257-8324

UK College of Agriculture, through its land-grant mission, reaches across the commonwealth with teaching, research and extensionto enhance the lives of Kentuckians.

Contact: 

Will Snell, 859-257-7288; Steve Isaacs, 859-257-7255