Professional News

UK Agricultural Economists Earn International Recognition

Image of Will Snell (left) and Steve Isaacs (right) holding awards
UK agricultural economists Will Snell (left) and Steve Isaacs (right) received international recognition for guiding the Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program. Photo courtesy of: UK Agricultural Communications.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2019)  University of Kentucky agricultural economists Will Snell and Steve Isaacs recently were recognized as outstanding leadership program directors by the International Association of Programs for Agricultural Leadership (IAPAL). They received the award specifically for guiding the successful Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program (KALP).

KALP, formerly known as the Philip Morris Agricultural Leadership Program, is an intensive, two-year program designed for young agricultural producers and agribusiness professionals who want to further develop their leadership skills. Snell and Isaacs took responsibility for directing the program and raising funds for its existence after Philip Morris scaled back its involvement in 2007.

During their two years in KALP, participants have the opportunity to enhance their leadership and communication skills; engage with local, national and international professionals who are effective agricultural leaders; gain exposure to a variety of agricultural enterprises; and become more aware of timely agricultural issues. Nearly 300 individuals have graduated from the program since it began in 1985, and they include many of the state’s top agricultural leaders and elected officials.

“Drs. Isaacs and Snell received this honor for their commitment to programming excellence, superior communication skills and dedication to training emerging rural leaders in Kentucky,” said Joe Waldrum, executive secretary of the association. “They are both highly respected by their IAPAL peers in their work with leaders and leadership development. We are delighted and proud to publicly acknowledge their talents and impacts with this prestigious award.”

In addition to leading KALP, Isaacs and Snell are extension professors in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Department of Agricultural Economics. They regularly teach classes and travel across the state to advise Kentucky farmers on marketing and management issues. Snell also works on agricultural policy issues in Washington, D.C.

For more information on the Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program, visit

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