The AgriInstitute’s Agriculture Leadership Program (ALP) was designed to develop young leaders for Indiana agriculture, but the program has grown beyond that. ALP class 15 will spend the weekend at Purdue for their third, 2 day training session, which is part of a 2 year program of education and leadership development. Once filled with only young farmers, the program today is more diverse with participants coming from a wide variety of careers and age groups. Jeff Jones has been a Purdue Extension educator for over 20 years but is still excited to be a part of the current ALP class, “The diversity of the class is amazing. I mean it is all over the place from farmers to bankers, sales people and more.” He told HAT just getting into the program was quite a process with lots of interviews and evaluations, “I have had people telling me for the past 6 years that I should try and enroll in the program.” He said he has been through a lot of professional training in the past, but nothing quite like this program.
As one of the older members of the class, Jones sees himself both learning from and helping to teach the younger members of the program, “I think at least half of the group of 30 are in the 30s and 40s. I am certainly one of the older members of the group, but I think this is going to alert me to issues and concerns that I would not have otherwise been aware of.” He feels he can also play a mentoring role for the others in the class on some agricultural issues.
The 2 year program involves training sessions around Indiana, plus a trip to Washington DC and an international travel experience. The alumni list of the ALP program reads like a who’s who of Indiana ag leadership. Jones says networking is one of the key benefits of being in the program, “I have already had some relationship building with some people that I never would have had the privilege to meet.” Jones says this weekend’s gathering is only the 3rd workshop for this class, and he anticipates some great experiences by the end of the program. Learn more about the ALP at the AgriInstitute web site.
The original version of this story contained incorrect information about how the ALP program is funded. According to ALP Executive Director Beth Archer, “Indiana’s program was initially funded by the Lilly Endowment in order that we could get the program institutionalized for the industry. We have not received any Lilly Endowment funding since 2000. Donors to AgrIInstitute have fully funded the operations of AgrIInstitute and its premier program the Indiana Agricultural Leadership Program since that time. We invest approximately $15,000 in each program participant over the two years of their participation in the program. The class members pay tuition of $4,500, which means that our donors are investing approximately $10,000+ for each program participant.”
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