AgForestry Leadership Program Pt 2

AgForestry Leadership Program Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with today’s Fruit Grower Report. The AgForestry Leadership Program has been building quality leaders for Washington agriculture for over four decades, and you could be part of the next class.

Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation’s Leadership Development Director, Hannah Poush says the 18-month program has a rich history …

POUSH … “With the exception of 2020, we’ve started a new class every year. So, we’ve been around since 1978 and we will launch class 45 this October.”

To learn more, Poush says it’s easy …

POUSH … “You can hop on our website, which is and check out our prospects page. That has all the information that anyone needs to know about the program. So, whether you want to apply or whether you want to check it out so you can refer someone else, that’s where you need to end up.”

Poush says it’s all about the details …

POUSH … “That has all the information about the application and has the information about our upcoming Q&A. We have one on April 5th at noon.”

That final Q&A, Poush says is required, but after that …

POUSH … “The application is due April 15th. Folks find out if they were accepted into the program in late June or early July and then we kick off with their first seminar together at Washington State University in Pullman in mid-October.”

If you have questions about the AgForestry Leadership 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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