PRINCETON – The American Soybean Association’s longest-running leadership program, Young Leaders, was founded in 1984 and continues to set the bar for leadership training in agriculture, identifying and training new, innovative and engaged growers to serve as the voice of the American farmer.
The Kentucky Soybean Association has participated in this program since its inception, and many past participants have made their mark in soybean leadership here in Kentucky. Those familiar with the state organization may recognize the names of past Young Leaders including Dan Hardaway, Bob White, John Burns, Tim Hughes, Steve Stanley, Mike Burchett, Darren Luttrell, Clint Voils, Aaron Reding, Ryan Bivens, Bill Clift, Jed Clark, Sam Hancock, Caleb Ragland, Quint Pottinger, Andy Alford, Ben Furnish, Brennan Gilkison, Adam Hendricks, Clay Wells, Anna Reding, Houston Howlett, Daniel Adams and Matt Gajdzik – all of whom have served or currently serve on the Kentucky Soybean Association board.
Other outstanding farmers who have been selected as Kentucky’s Young Leader over the years include: Philip Beyke, Richard White, Rod Kuegel, Dave Watson, Tripp Furches, Homer Richardson, Tom Folz, Monty Parrish, James Spinks, Chad Konow, Houston Whitaker, Chad Sullivan, Ron Davis, Chad Thorn, Mike Brookshire, Joanna Carraway, Kyle Bugg, Tyler Cvitkovic, and Collin Cooper.
Participants commit to attend two training sessions, the second of which is held in conjunction with the annual Commodity Classic trade show and conference. Sponsored by Corteva, the Young Leaders program not only enhances participants’ skills through leadership, communications, and issues-based training, but also builds a strong peer network, generating increased success in their businesses and communities.
Many graduates of this training program assume leadership roles with their state and national soybean associations. Young Leader seminars feature intense coursework designed to enhance leadership skills for the benefit of not only soy but also the entire agricultural industry. Training, open to all ages 21 and up, is interactive and includes evening group activities. Young Leaders are expected to be active supporters of agriculture and participate fully in all training aspects and evening activities.
Spouses are actively involved in this program, even if not employed full-time on the farm. Interested soybean farmers may apply online at www.soygrowers.com. Deadline for Kentucky applicants is Monday, Aug. 8.
For more information on soybean farming in Kentucky, visit www.kysoy.org.
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