From presentations by bioterrorism experts and agriculture committee staff members to exploring leadership lessons on the battlefield at Gettysburg, the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program (IALP) Class of 2016 participants learned first-hand of the most pressing issues facing agriculture as they traveled to Washington, D.C. for a seven-day seminar on national policy.
The seminar included presentations by 37 speakers representing 19 federal agencies, companies and associations. These included the Department of Agriculture, The World Bank, Department of Justice, CropLife America, Department of Energy, Farm Credit Administration, House Agriculture Committee, Embassy of Australia, Environmental Protection Agency, Monsanto, Department of Transportation, Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, FBI, Animal Agriculture Alliance, National Pork Producers Council, and staff members to U.S. Senators Richard Durbin and Mark Kirk.
“Learning first-hand how federal policy is developed and prioritized is important for agricultural leaders,” said Don Norton, IALF President & CEO. “The National Study Seminar sponsored by Monsanto allows current participants the opportunity to visit with our graduates and industry associates who are engaged in policy-making in Washington, D.C.”
Among the highlights of the seminar were: discussions of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) with Fiona Hutchinson from New Zealand; learning how the FBI supports the food and agriculture sector with Steven Goldsmith, Biological Countermeasures Unit at FBI Headquarters; messages of leadership in the farm credit industry by Leland Strom, a board member of the U.S. Farm Credit Administration and 1988 graduate of the IALP; a presentation by Jay Vroom, President and CEO of CropLife America; and a discussion with Chuck Connors, President and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives regarding the many agricultural industry groups that carry the message of agriculture to the nation’s capitol.
The study seminar ended on the battlefield of Gettysburg where Terry Fox, Battlefield Guide Emeritus, discussed leadership issues that ultimately led to the Union victory in the Civil War.
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. Candidates for the leadership program are selected during a competitive application process. More information is available at www.agleadership.org.