Mar 16th, 2017
Category: Class of 2018
Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program Meets with Federal Policy Leaders
From presentations by high-level legislative liaisons and Members of Congress to exploring leadership lessons on the battlefield at Gettysburg, the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program (IALP) Class of 2018 participants learned first-hand of the most pressing issues facing agriculture as they traveled to Washington, D.C. and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for a seven-day study seminar on national policy and leadership.
The seminar included presentations by 33 speakers representing 15 federal agencies, companies and associations. These included the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Environmental Protection Agency, Renewable Fuels Association, CropLife America, Farm Credit Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Grain and Feed Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Grains Council, National Pork Producers Council, The World Bank, Embassy of Luxembourg, Embassy of Cuba, Monsanto, Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18), Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), and the staff of Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13).
“Learning first-hand how federal policy is developed and prioritized is important for agricultural leaders,” said Don Norton, IALF President & CEO. “The National Study Seminar sponsored by Monsanto allows current participants the opportunity to visit with our graduates and industry associates who are engaged in policy-making in Washington, D.C.”
Among the highlights of the seminar were: joining CropLife America during their winter board meeting opening session and hearing Emily Skor, Chief Executive Officer of Growth Energy, discuss her vision for promoting renewable energy; learning how the FBI supports the food and agriculture sector with Dr. Steven Goldsmith, Biological Countermeasures Unit at FBI Headquarters; leadership challenges at the federal level with Michael Alston, Associate Administrator of the Risk Management Association at the USDA and 2008 graduate of the IALP; agricultural trade discussions with the Embassies of Luxembourg and Cuba; meetings with government affairs staff from the agricultural industry groups that carry the message of agriculture to our representatives; and briefings with Members of Congress and their staffs about the work they are doing on behalf of agriculture in our nation’s capitol.
The study seminar ended with an impactful two-day session in Gettysburg where Terry Fox, Battlefield Guide Emeritus, discussed how leadership lessons from the Civil War battlefield are still applicable today.
The Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation provides a 19-month seminar series that develops knowledgeable and effective leaders to become policy and decision makers for the agricultural industry, in addition to Advanced Leadership Training for program alumni, commodity groups and other agricultural organizations. It is a non-profit educational corporation under Illinois law. A board of directors, comprised of recognized leaders in agriculture and business, oversees the program.