From presentations by high-level legislative liaisons and Members of Congress to exploring leadership lessons on the battlefield at Gettysburg, the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program (IALP) Class of 2020 participants learned first-hand of the most pressing issues facing agriculture as they traveled to Washington, D.C. and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for a seven-day study seminar on national policy and leadership.
The seminar included presentations by over 40 speakers representing multiple federal agencies, companies, and associations. These included the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), CropLife America, Nestle Corporation, Farm Credit Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, U.S State Department, The White House’s National Economic Council, The World Bank, Embassy of Great Britain, Embassy of New Zealand, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Capitol Hill meetings included Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18), Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13) and Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-2).
Among the highlights were a discussion with United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, agricultural trade presentations with the Embassies of Great Britain and New Zealand, meetings with government affairs and agricultural industry groups that carry the message of agriculture to our representatives as well as briefings with Members of Congress and their staffs about the work they are doing on behalf of agriculture in our nation’s capitol.
The study seminar ended with a two-day session in Gettysburg where Terry Fox, Battlefield Guide Emeritus, discussed the impact the battle had on the future of our country as well as how leadership lessons from the pivotal Civil War battle are still applicable today.
The Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation provides a 19-month 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.