Program will build ag leadership skills

SALEM, Ohio — The name of a new program in Carroll, Harrison, Jefferson and Tuscarawas counties gives a perfect description of its basic foundation — Leadership Education and Development.

LEAD is a year-long workshop that will take participants to eight different seminars in the four-county region, plus Columbus, Cleveland and Washington D.C.

Program organizers hope to attract farmers and anyone else who works in the agriculture industry. The goal is to provide exposure to the broader issues that affect agriculture, like government and cross-cultural perspectives.

Leadership Education and Development was developed by Ohio State University Extension, Ohio Farm Bureau and Crossroads Resource Conservation and Development in each of the four counties. It’s not related to the now-defunct state LEAD program, but it is similar to a program that existed in the four counties during the early 1990s.

The groups wanted to provide a program that would strengthen the voice of the local ag industry.

“We just recognized the need for leadership among folks in agriculture,” said Chris Zoller, Tuscarawas County Extension educator.

Speakers and topics

During the LEAD program, participants will hear from speakers like E. Gordon Gee, Ohio State University president; Jim Tressel, Ohio State University head football coach; Jack Fisher, Ohio Farm Bureau; Sean Logan, Ohio Department of Natural Resources director; and George Voinovich, U.S. Senator.

The first seminar is Oct. 7-8 in Columbus and will cover topics like personality types, communication strategies, leadership styles, time management and the farm bill. There will also be a tour of the Honda Motors plant.

Other topics to be covered in LEAD include modern media, public speaking, Amish culture, economic development, school funding, sustainable agriculture, local government, running for elected office and urban issues.

The Washington D.C. seminar is schedule for the fall of 2009. It will center on the federal government, international issues and cultural issues.

Requirements

Applicants should be a resident of Carroll, Harrison, Jefferson or Tuscarawas counties. Those who apply should be between 18 and 45 and willing to adjust their schedules to attend the seminars.

The cost to participate is $500, which includes lodging, meals and speakers for all seminars, plus transportation to Washington D.C. Payment plans are available, with $100 being due at the first seminar Oct. 7.

Applications are available at http://tuscarawas.osu.edu or from the Tuscarawas County Extension Office at 330-339-2337. The deadline to apply is Sept. 15

Applicants will be interviewed Sept. 22 at the Cadiz Public Library. Zoller said organizers hope to have about 25 people for this year’s program.

About the Author

Former reporter Janelle Skrinjar wrote for Farm and Dairy from 2005 to 2009. More Stories by Janelle Skrinjar

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