LEXINGTON, KY. (Jan. 13, 2022) — The Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program has selected 22 individuals for its Class 13. Housed in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, the program offers an intensive, leadership development experience for young farmers and individuals in agriculture-related fields. Its mission is to identify, develop and motivate Kentuckians for effective leadership in agriculture and rural communities.
The program consists of 10 domestic seminars that focus on improving participants’ leadership skills.
“The curriculum is designed to cultivate many competencies including communication, delegation, diversity, conflict management, civil discourse and ethical decision-making,” said Emily Roe Brown, program coordinator.
In addition, the participants will study emerging issues affecting Kentucky agriculture and rural communities. 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., and will travel to other states and nations to explore agriculture in different settings. The 35-year-old program has a network of over 300 alumni, most of whom are industry and community leaders.
Sessions for the new cohort will begin in February 2022 with an anticipated graduation celebration scheduled for August 2023.
“We are very excited that Class 13 encompasses the program’s goal of putting together a passionate group of individuals exhibiting geographic, gender, racial, farm size and ag diversity,” said Will Snell, co-director of the leadership development program and UK agricultural economist.
Members of Class 13 include:
- Jack Allison: Springfield - Washington County. Sales professional at Wright Implement.
- Ramel Bradley: Morehead - Rowan County. Community director at AppHarvest.
- Caleb Brown: Princeton - Caldwell County. White corn, winter wheat, soybeans, alfalfa, beef cattle, tobacco. Customer account manager for Hutson Inc.
- Ryan Burnette: Pleasureville - Shelby County. Mixed vegetables, Berkshire pork, layers, broilers and lambs. Director of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Plant Division.
- Daniel Carpenter: Cecilia - Hardin County. Katahdin sheep. University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources in LaRue County.
- Benjamin Carr: Mt. Sterling - Montgomery County. Kentucky 4-H Foundation director of advancement.
- Katie Cecil: Owensboro - Daviess County. Owner of Katie Ann Flowers and Cecil Farms Produce - watermelon, grain, mixed fruits and vegetables, fresh cut flowers and custom spraying.
- Carilynn Coombs: Smithfield - Henry County. Jericho Farmhouse - beef, hay, corn, on-farm marketplace, food trailer and specialty crops.
- Chris Crumrine: Lexington - Fayette County. UK College of Food, Agriculture and Environment director of government relations.
- Beth Douglas: Pleasureville - Henry County. Beef cattle, organic hay, alfalfa hay and grass hay. Our Home Place meat marketing manager with The Berry Center.
- Steven Elder: Mayfield - Graves County. Agriculture consultant at West Kentucky Alliance for a Vibrant Economy.
- John David Fourqurean: Cadiz - Trigg County. Purebred and commercial cow/calf operator. Financial officer at Farm Credit Mid-America.
- Tyler Gay: Manchester - Clay County. Tyler Gay Enterprises, Gay Brothers Logging and Lumber - lumber, chips, dust, bark and logs.
- Kristie Guffey: Murray - Calloway County. Commercial beef cattle producer. Murray State University assistant professor and graduate coordinator.
- Griffin Huelsman: Shelbyville - Shelby County. Assistant manager with Heritage Farms. Seed stock angus cattle producer, bull leasing, direct marketing beef to consumer.
- Dore Hunt: Bowling Green - Warren County. Chaney’s Dairy Barn herd manager - Dairy, corn, wheat and soybeans.
- Nathaniel Keith: Olmstead - Logan County. Production manager at Cal Maine Foods.
- Bradley Loftus: Gracey - Christian County. Agronomist with Wheat Tech Agronomy.
- Brandon Robey: Russellville - Logan County. Double R Farms - corn, soybeans and wheat.
- Robert Rouse: Hickman – Fulton County. Farm manager with Sanger Farm - corn, soybeans, wheat and rice.
- Laney Snider: Franklin - Simpson County. Ruby Branch Farms - corn, soybeans, wheat, cattle, chrysanthemums, pumpkins and sunflowers.
- Martin Williams: Bloomfield- Nelson County. Sunflowers, cow/calf producer. Project manager at Kentucky Office of Agricultural Policy.
“It’s always exciting to start a new class,” said Steve Isaacs, KALP co-director and UK agricultural economist. “We look forward to getting to know this group.”
Class 12, which began in October 2018, has experienced travel postponements, but will graduate in April 2022 following their Washington, D.C., seminar. Their international learning journey is postponed until international travel is safer.
As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.
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