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Ag Leaders Receive Funding for Conference

Over 50 of the country’s foremost experts on agricultural leadership development recently convened in Oklahoma City during the annual International Association of Programs for Agricultural Leadership [IAPAL}at the Westin hotel. The conference costs were funded through the generous support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The Oklahoman Agricultural Leaders Program (OALP) hosted this three day conference for program directors from across the country and Canada in several forums to discuss the challenges, trends and threats facing agricultural and rural leadership programs in America and determined alternatives to offset these challenges. Among the Oklahoma attendants was Oklahoma State University [OSU] Agricultural Economic professor and Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program Director, Joe Williams.

“Our intent was to provide lively sessions and valuable information to inspire program directors, administrative assistants and board members to strengthen their own programs,” said Williams. “Without question, we accomplished our objectives.”

The conference’s theme of New Challenges for Directors empowered program directors to better equip a cadre of young adults associated with agriculture and rural communities by encouraging them to explore and better understand the changing world around them. Thus, individuals would be better informed and capable in taking on agricultural leadership roles.

According to the 2002 Census of Agriculture report, as 2.1 million farms produce agricultural products on nearly 938.3 million acres across the nation, the cultivation of building future agricultural leaders remains crucial to drive one of the nation’s leading industries.

IAPAL encourages emerging and established agricultural and rural leaders to consider applying for agricultural leadership programs. They also encourage corporations, small businesses, foundations, organizations & individuals dedicated to the cause to invest in the future by contributing financial support to the program(s) of the public’s choice.

One attendant noted, “This was a conference that provided needed insight and renewed energy. The best aspect was all [information] was immediately applicable and touched on all relevant issues that weren’t of tremendous detail, but allowed us to get a taste and we know where to go to get the details.”

Log on to http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/karl/iapal.htm to learn more about IAPAL and its programs and http://Oklahomaagleadership.org to learn more about OALP or contact Joe Williams at (405) 744-8134 or joewosu@okstate.edu.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 to help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations.

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