AgForestry Leadership Program Pt 1

AgForestry Leadership Program Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with today’s Fruit Grower Report. If you’ve been giving some thought to applying for the next AgForestry Leadership Program, you’ve

still got time.

Hannah Poush, Leadership Development Director at the Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation, says the 18-month program is a great opportunity to develop your leadership skills …

POUSH … “It’s important to know that we’re not an academic program. We’re solely focused on providing experiential programing for professionals so that they come out equipped with the skills and experience that they need to represent themselves and their industry in the public policy process as well as with the general public.”

Poush says, the classes have a broad representation …

POUSH … “We work to put together a very diverse class every year. We start a new class every year. We have between 15 and 18 participants in each cohort. And we’re looking to have broad representation from different industries.”

The schedule, Poush says, is spread out evenly …

POUSH … “Over the 18 months, each class participates in 13 seminars. 11 of those seminars happen in Washington state and they’re typically from Wednesday, mid-morning, to Friday, early-afternoon. So, we have three days together, we travel all over the state so you’ll touch pretty much every corner of the state throughout the 18 months.”

The application window for Class 45 ends on April 15th.

Tune in tomorrow for more on the next AgForestry Leadership Program.

If you have questions about the program or application process email: or call: 509-926-9113


The window for Class 45 applications is January 15 through April 15, 2023.

The application, essay questions, and self-evaluation are online. The Employer Release must be filled out by your employer. Four online reference forms are required for each candidate, plus, a resume and signed Memorandum of

Understanding must be uploaded, mailed or emailed to AgForestry Office. All materials are kept confidential.

Eligibility Requirements

• You must have lived or worked in Washington for at least one year.

• Your employer must approve the required time to attend all seminars (approx. 58 days) and are able to be away from communications (laptop, cell phone, pager) during seminar hours. Those who are self-employed must be able to be away from their businesses for that time as well.

• You must plan to remain employed in agriculture, forestry or related natural resource industry for the duration of the time you are in the program.

o You must attend a Q&A session. Wednesday, April 5, 2023: 12 – 1 pm

Natural Resource Industry Definition

Agriculture, forestry and natural resources are broadly defined to include producers (farmer, forester and fisher), processor/shippers, and marketing/salespeople. It also includes professionals from education, law, finance, insurance, government and non-government agencies whose work is dedicated to serving the natural resources sector. Those from other fields relating to environment, media, research, labor, and public relations who demonstrate strong connections to the natural resource industries are also included. An important qualification is the applicant’s current and future commitment to Washington’s agriculture, forestry, fisheries, natural resources and rural communities.

The Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation, which oversees the AgForestry Leadership Program, strongly encourages producer candidates: decision makers in their farming, forestry, fishing or natural resource entity.

Selection Process

Each class is built by the Selection Committee representing leaders in natural resources. Final selection is approved by the Foundation’s Board of Directors. All applicants have an in-person interview with the Selection Committee in their area/region. The selection process is highly competitive. Up to 18 participants are chosen for each class. Applicants are notified in early July.

Program Commitment

Each Leadership Class is 18 months long, with no less than 58 days of required time and attendance. Your commitment to the program includes attendance at all seminars. There are 11 multi-day seminars held throughout Washington State, plus two travel seminars: one week in Washington, D.C., and two weeks in a foreign country. The total cost of the program is about $40,000 per participant with the fee to a participant set at $6,000. The total cost is offset by grants, alumni, and other stakeholders.

Each participant is expected to fulfill the following commitments:

• To attend all in-state and travel seminars

• To participate fully

• To be willing to embark on a leadership journey that will, at times, be messy

• To assume leadership responsibility

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