Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program Participants Begin Leadership Journey
The 30 members of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program (IALP) Class of 2020 successfully completed the “Joyce Watson Leadership Orientation Seminar” in Bloomington. The two-day event was endowed in the name of founding President and CEO of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation (IALF), Joyce Watson. This seminar marks the beginning of the participants’ journey in the IALF’s signature leadership development program.
The first day of the event included a team-building activity which required participants to diagram the components of the food and agriculture supply and value chain. Lee Strom, President, and CEO of IALF led a discussion focusing on leadership, indicating that the IALP creates an environment for leadership growth. Tami Craig Schilling of the IALF Board of Directors presented to the class issues of “Walking the Walk of Leadership.” The day concluded with a presentation on “Crucial Conversations” and case studies that asked participants to work through situations that might require a crucial conversation.
The second day of the seminar was held at Illinois State University, hosted by the Department of Agriculture. The group was welcomed by ISU President Dr. Larry Dietz and Dr. Rob Rhykerd, Chair of the ISU Department of Agriculture. Joyce Watson, President Emeritus of IALF, also gave remarks during the welcome session. The day included an introduction to the IALF Board of Directors by IALF Board Chairman, Dan Kelley, an etiquette luncheon led by Dr. Debbie Lindberg of the ISU College of Business, and an overview of the logistics and schedule of the 19-month program. The formal seminar program concluded with sessions on professional business dress, managing business travel and leadership expectations, led by IALP alumni Sheri Bane and Dan Mehochko.
At the conclusion of the orientation event, the Class of 2020 was welcomed to join IALF alumni, friends, and family at the Torch of Leadership Awards Banquet that evening.