A program that helps to develop leaders for agriculture, business and rural communities is now accepting applications for its newest class, which will be announced this summer.
Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership is an intensive two-year program designed for those engaged with agriculture and rural Kansas. Program officials said applications will be accepted through April 1, and KARL Class XVI will be announced in June.
“Agriculture and rural Kansas constantly face new and unique challenges, and there is a need for individuals who have leadership skills to serve in decision-making positions,” said KARL president Jill Zimmerman.
“Graduates of the program become part of a network and have gone on to serve in legislative bodies, farm and commodity organizations, agribusiness, community entities and their local communities, which is vital for the future of Kansas. Participants engage in a series of seminars throughout the state, domestic and international study tours, Washington, D.C., Gettysburg (Pennsylvania).”
Zimmerman said KARL invests more than 400 hours of intensive training per person in seminars, speakers and domestic and international study tours over two years.
KARL got its start in 1989 when a group of individuals representing various segments of Kansas agriculture met to discuss the need and potential for an extensive educational program designed to build a leadership base for the state’s agriculture and related industries. The first class of 30 participants began leadership development training in 1991. Since then, more than 440 participants have completed the program.
From the field of applicants, a list of finalists will be interviewed by a selection committee in May and the class roster will be announced in June. Zimmerman said upon completing the program, class members will demonstrate leadership potential and willingness to serve in decision-making roles.