Ag education foundation provides support for study tour to Kenya, Rwanda


SYRSCUSE, N.Y. — The Northeast Agricultural Education Foundation recently made a $25,000 gift to the LEAD New York Program in support of their international study seminar, which will take place in February 2015.

The LEAD New York board of directors unanimously approved Kenya and Rwanda as the destinations for this study abroad experience. This will be the first time the program has visited the African continent.

The international seminar is the capstone experience of the LEAD program. Class members will visit farms, food businesses, development project sites, government agencies and NGOs.


They will observe and learn from differing leadership approaches in new cultural contexts. They will put into practice listening, observation, and critical thinking skills developed throughout the LEAD program.

“This is no vacation. It is a rigorous educational experience that will likely change our class members’ lives” said Larry Van De Valk, executive director of the program.

The Northeast Agricultural Education Foundation, Inc. functions as a private foundation to promote the development of agricultural leadership and a better understanding of agriculture and agricultural-related activities within the Northeastern U.S.


The primary goal of the foundation is to support education and leadership training organizations dedicated to serving the interests of farmers and rural communities in the Northeast.

The NAEF has been one of LEAD New York’s largest and most loyal donors for nearly two decades, sponsoring several of the program’s recent international seminars. LEAD New York is a leadership development program for adult professionals in the food, agriculture and natural resource sectors, based in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University.

How it works

Up to 30 participants are selected through a competitive application process for each cohort. The curriculum includes 15 intense monthly seminars, where participants develop leadership skills, improve their level of self-awareness, improve their understanding of contemporary issues facing the food system, and develop personal and professional networks with other community leaders.

For more information about LEAD New York, visit, or contact Larry Van De Valk, executive director at 607-255-7907 or


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