Illinois Agricultural Leaders Learn about Leadership Skills and Perspectives
The Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program (IALP) Class of 2018 participants recently explored personal leadership skills and agricultural issues during a seminar held at Sprague’s Kinderhook Lodge in Barry, Illinois. The “Personal Leadership and Self Reflection Seminar” included presentations by ten speakers over two days. The IALP is sponsored by the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation (IALF).
Over a nineteen-month period the class is attending 14 seminars covering current social, political, business and economic issues in the agriculture industry. The “Personal Leadership and Self Reflection Seminar” began with a presentation by Larry Fischer, retired Vice President of Instruction at John Wood Community College, and a 1986 graduate of the IALP. He discussed techniques for writing, editing and presenting a professional introduction in a business setting. Alison Myers, Program Director for the leadership foundation, reviewed individual results from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment and implications for interpersonal interactions. She led the class members in understanding their own personality types and those of others they will work with and lead.
Dr. Richard Ringer, Director of the Organizational Leadership Institute and Professor in the College of Business at Illinois State University, spoke on “Emotional Intelligence: Benefitting from Diversity.” The first day of the seminar concluded with dinner and a “Fireside Chat with IALF Alumni”, which centered on how participants will build community during their time in the program.
On the second day, the class explored more leadership skills and issues. Mike Elbe, President of John Wood Community College, presented “A Leader’s Approach to Effective Time Management.” Chet Boruff, CEO of the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) and a 1984 graduate of the IALP, provided information on “A Leader’s Approach to Effective Meeting Management.” Then, the Class of 2018 continued discussing personal leadership perspectives based on their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment, again led by IALF Program Director Alison Myers.
The final session of the second day was a panel presentation and discussion on “Agriculture and Consumer Issues.” Rodney Weinzierl,
Executive Director of the Illinois Corn Marketing and Illinois Corn Growers Boards, presented perspectives on agricultural issues and opportunities that are important to grain producers. Jennifer Tirey, Executive Director of the Illinois Pork Producers, discussed how the animal agriculture industry is working to create more transparency with consumers. Beth Cash, Regional Vice President of the Heartland Region for Compass USA, presented the consumers’ perspective on nutrition and food sourcing.
Following the panel, the Class of 2018 continued the conversation about leadership opportunities surrounding the current issues facing agriculture today. This final discussion provided the cohort with the opportunity to synthesize what they learned about their own personal leadership style with the needs presented by agriculture’s consumers.
The Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation provides a two-year seminar series that develops knowledgeable and effective leaders to become policy and decision makers for the agricultural industry. 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.