Thirty individuals have been selected to be fellows in the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation (IALF) Class of 2020. This will be the 19th class in the organization’s 34-year history, and participants were selected following a competitive application and interview process.
The class represents a diverse mix of agricultural expertise – a unique characteristic of the IALF program. There are 13 members who work hands-on at a farm each year, along with representatives of multinational agricultural companies such as Nutrien, Monsanto, Cargill, Deere and Company, DuPont Pioneer, and CNH Industrial. Also represented are employees of Farm Credit Illinois, GROWMARK, The Maschhoffs, LLC, Compeer Financial, Illinois Soybean Association, Brandt, Illinois Beef Association and Beck’s Hybrids, among others.
“This class will have membership from across Illinois and represents a broad spectrum of food and agriculture interests,” said Lee Strom, IALF President & CEO.” The class will be comprised of twenty-three men and seven women. “We’re pleased to have a growing list of women apply each cycle and to have returning applicants from previous years,” Strom said.
Beginning in August 2018, the Class of 2020 will experience 14 seminars over 19 months to build the skills, knowledge, and character to be global leaders in agriculture. The IALF has graduated more than 500 leaders since its founding in 1982 and those alums include two, 10-year Presidents of the Illinois Farm Bureau, a former CEO and Chair of the Farm Credit Administration in Washington, D.C., the first woman to be Illinois Director of Agriculture, the past Presidents of the American Soybean Association and National Pork Producers Council, and global leaders in agribusiness.
“As the global food and agriculture sectors continue to see new companies and entities operating in this space, we hope to provide the Class of 2020 with exposure to exciting leadership development opportunities locally, nationally, and internationally,” Strom said. We are in the process of enhancing our connectivity to a wide range of people and companies that influence our daily lives to ensure our participants gain significant insights and knowledge to grow their leadership capabilities.”
The following individuals have been selected for the Class of 2020:
Andrew Alton, Sherman; Jayma Appleby, Schaumburg; Adam Bauer, Table Grove; Jared Brown, Springfield; Blair Bruns, Peoria; Joseph Camp, Bloomington; Jason Czapka, Munster, IN; Betsey Emerick, Vandalia; Bruce Frank, Bettendorf, IA; Sean Goretskie, Northbrook; Brandon Groth, Sherrard; Scott Halpin, Gardner; Carl Herrmann, Hoyleton; Drew Hesker, Okawville; Mark Inkrott, Dunlap; Jill Johnson, Springfield; Ellen Kamps, St. Charles; Jonah Kolb, Clinton; Blake Lanphier, Gurnee; Sara Mitchell, Verona; Phil Montgomery, Kirkland; James Powers, Clinton; Kris Reynolds, Nokomis; Mike Schweitzer, Malta; Rich Selinger, Mt Pulaski; Caleb Shull, Pinckneyville; Heather Spray, West Salem; Joshua Turney, Clinton; Andy Wold, Leland; and Deanna Zwicker, Orion.
The Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program is a comprehensive education series that develops knowledgeable and effective leaders to become policy and decision makers for the agricultural industry. The program is funded by the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation, a 501-c-3 non-profit organization comprised of individuals, companies, organizations and institutional partners. Program participants are selected from diverse backgrounds in Illinois agriculture, and program graduates have attained the highest level positions in commodity organizations and the nation’s leading agribusiness corporations.