Our Programs

IALP Class Members Explore Aspects of the Food and Agriculture Supply Chain

The IALP – Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program

Imagine a forum where the best and brightest representatives from across the food and agriculture sector learn about leadership, develop personally, and chart their course for leadership in the food and agriculture space.  That’s the IALP. Every two years we select a class of up to 30 men and women, ages 25 to 49, through a competitive application process to participate in a life-changing leadership learning forum.  These are practicing professionals in Illinois who are young enough to grow into the leaders of the future, yet experienced enough to comprehend the insights they gain in the program and apply them to their positions in the field, the office, and on behalf of local and global food security,

Through a series of 14 seminars, the professionals in each class develop the skills, knowledge and character to become effective leaders by studying a variety of disciplines, including business decision making, consumer trends, economic policy, media relations, national and international agricultural policy, interpersonal and group communications, global supply and value chain challenges, and energy and ecosystems.  One week is spent in Washington, D.C. with federal agency officials, lawmakers, interest group representatives, and foreign dignitaries.  There is also a two-week international seminar in foreign countries with high impact on U.S. agriculture, trade and global hunger.


 Advanced Leadership Training

The Advanced Leadership Program works on three levels: providing experiences for IALP graduates beyond the 19-month program; expanding the development of leaders in food and agriculture-related businesses and commodity organizations; and facilitating leadership development for FFA instructors and others – building the capacity of STEM educators and others to serve as leaders in agriculture.

High school agriculture and FFA instructors work together on pedagogy that will help their students recognize key aspects of a sustainable food supply chain. They also learn from industry representatives about the future of agriculture, and hear of consumer perceptions of the industry during a 2-day seminar.


Of the 30 members of our Class of 2018 (which began in the Fall of 2016), 11 are women. Our graduates include the first woman to be the Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, and the first woman to be President of the National Pork Producers Council. In our 2016 seminars for agriculture instructors, 76% of participants were women.

You can learn more about the application process for the flagship IALP program by contacting us at 309.837.7711.  If you know of a candidate, please consider recommending a candidate.