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Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program unveils 14th class

Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program unveils 14th class

Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program unveils 14th class

KALP provides young farmers and individuals working in agriculture-related fields in Kentucky with intensive leadership development experience.

Lexington, Ky.—

The Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program, after receiving a record 140 nominations, has chosen 22 candidates for its 14th class.  

The program, housed in the University of Kentucky Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, provides young farmers and individuals working in agriculture-related fields with an intensive leadership development experience. Its mission is to identify, develop and motivate Kentuckians for effective leadership in agriculture and rural communities.  

"Our program is designed to develop leadership and communication skills that will enable a group of motivated and talented individuals to shape the future direction of Kentucky agriculture and our food system in the coming decades," said Will Snell, co-director of the leadership development program and UK agricultural economist. 

The curriculum is designed to cultivate many competencies including communication, delegation, diversity, conflict management, civil discourse and ethical decision-making. Participants will also discuss current issues and developments impacting rural communities and agriculture in Kentucky.  

Over the next two years class members will meet with local leaders, visit a variety of Kentucky agribusinesses, meet with policymakers and government agencies in Frankfort and Washington, D.C. Additionally, they will travel to other states and nations to explore agriculture in different settings.  

Members of Class 14 include: 

  • Sarah Bryant, Eminence – Henry County, KADF programs manager at the Kentucky Office of Agricultural Policy. 
  • Bradon Burks, Nicholasville – Jessamine County, director of education at the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association. 
  • Aaron Clark, Lexington – Fayette County, specializing in grass-finished beef and custom hay at Clark Family Farm. 
  • Rachel Cole, Bowling Green – Warren County, involved in beef cattle and as an Account Manager at Kent Nutrition Group. 
  • Ben Conner, Lexington – Fayette County, managing Angus cattle at Old Bark Farm and serving as a Philanthropy Officer at UK Martin-Gatton CAFE. 
  • Bryce Danhauer, Morganfield – Union County, co-owner of Danhauer Greenhouse and Garden Center, focusing on ornamental plants. 
  • LaToya Drake, Glasgow – Barren County, Program Coordinator in Nutrition Media and Marketing at Kentucky’s Nutrition Education Program, University of Kentucky. 
  • David Furnish, Cynthiana – Harrison County, engaged in farming tobacco, corn, soybeans, rapeseed and cattle. 
  • Jim Tom Galbreath, Flemingsburg – Fleming County, working with cattle and soybeans, and serving as a Sales Representative/Agronomist at Hinton Mills. 
  • Lauren Gibson, Benton – Marshall County, involved in beef cattle and sheep farming, and serving as Senior Farm Relationship Manager at Cargill. 
  • Heather Graham, Campton – Wolfe County, focusing on a cow/calf operation, hay, and firewood sales, and working as Eastern Kentucky Value Chain Coordinator at The Food Connection, UK. 
  • Jackson Jeffries, New Castle – Henry County, involved with show goats, alfalfa hay for Jeffries Farms, and working as an Insurance Agent. 
  • Elaisy Lapinet, Louisville – Jefferson County, owner of Cured Restaurant & Salumeria and Alvio’s Cuban Meats. 
  • Laurie Mays, Paris – Bourbon County, managing beef cattle, Katahdin sheep, Pony of the Americas, and Connemara ponies and serving as Agriculture Talent Pipeline Project Manager at the Kentucky Chamber Foundation. 
  • Allison Porteus, Bardstown – Nelson County, CEO and co-owner of Boone’s Butcher Shop. 
  • Erica Rogers, Lexington – Fayette County, director of agriculture development at Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. 
  • Caleb Sadler, Paris – Bourbon County, focusing on beef cattle, corn, soybeans and hay, and serving as a senior loan officer at Central Kentucky Ag Credit. 
  • Curtis Weatherford, Clinton – Hickman County, engaged in corn, soybeans, wheat, canola/rapeseed and broilers at Weatherford Farms, and serving as chief of the Clinton Fire Department. 
  • Ford Waterstrat, London – Laurel County, certified organic produce grower and owner of Sustainable Harvest Farm. 
  • Jonathan West, Springfield – Washington County, working with corn, soybeans, beef cattle, and a Financial Officer at Farm Credit Mid-America. 
  • Nick Woodruff, Cadiz – Trigg County, specializing in corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, rye, tobacco, cattle and erosion control blankets at Seven Springs Farms. 
  • Ashton Potter Wright, Lexington – Fayette County, adjunct assistant professor at The Food Connection, UK. 

Over 300 alumni have already graduated from the program. 

“My experience with KALP was so much more than I expected,” said Class 13 graduate, Laney Snider of Ruby Branch Farms. “The structured leadership training was excellent, but where the program really shines is bringing so many motivated people together. We were constantly learning from each other and pushing one another out of our comfort zones during our time together. We continue to do that after graduation!” 

To learn more about the program, visit  

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The Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is an Equal Opportunity Organization with respect to education and employment and authorization to provide research, education information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, physical or mental disability or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.  

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