Thirty men and women have been selected to be fellows in the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation (IALF) Class of 2016. This will be the 17th two-year class in the organization’s 32-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 full-time and six part-time farmers, along with representatives of multinational agricultural companies such as BASF, Cargill and Potash Corporation. Also represented are employees of the Illinois Chemical & Fertilizer Association, GROWMARK, CGB and TeeJet Technologies. The class also includes two county Farm Bureau managers, the Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education Program (FCAE) in the Illinois Department of Education, a scientific researcher from the University of Illinois, and employees of 1st Farm Credit Services and Farm Credit Illinois.
“This class also is geographically diverse,” said Don Norton, IALF President & CEO. “We have members from Massac County to the south and Lake County to the north; Hancock County to the west and Vermilion County to the east.”
There are eight women in the class. “As women move into more leadership roles in agriculture, we’re pleased that so many qualified women applied and were accepted into this class,” Norton said.
Norton said that the Class of 2016 also is unique in the depth of leadership experience its members already demonstrate.
“Many class members serve on their county Farm Bureau boards of directors, and some have even been president,” he noted. “Others hold officer positions on local, state, national and international commodity and industry organizations. This is a class that will excel greatly after honing their leadership skills.”
The Class of 2016 will experience 14 seminars over two years to build the skills, knowledge and character to be global leaders in agriculture. The IALF has graduated more than 450 leaders since its founding in 1982. Graduates include two, 10-year Presidents of the Illinois Farm Bureau, one of three members of the U.S. Farm Credit Administration board in Washington, D.C., the first woman to be Illinois Director of Agriculture, and global leaders in agribusiness.
The following individuals have been selected for the Class of 2016:
Joel Barickman, Ancona; Karlie Bowman, Oneida; Marc Bremer, Metropolis; Steve Bridge, Springfield; Ryan Buckles, Rochester; Whit Dhamer, Lake Forest; Jill Frueh, Ohio; Stephen Huls, St. Joseph; David Jansen, Effingham; Kevin Johnson, St. Joseph; Matthew Kellogg, Yorkville; Kirk Liefer, Red Bud; Krista Lottinville, Sheldon; Katie Lyons, Urbana; Brandy Marron, Fithian; Dan Mehochko, Mazon; Kim Meier, Ridott; David Mool, Lexington; Grant Noland, Decatur; Micah Pope, Champaign; Brian Satorius, Petersburg; Rob Sharkey, Bradford; Kyle Sheaffer, Dixon; Darren Sims, Liberty; Brad Uken, Mahomet; Julie Wankel, Petersburg; Jennifer Waters, Pleasant Plains; Dana Wiegand, Morton; A.J. Woodyard, Ivesdale; and Joe Zumwalt, Warsaw.