American Farm Bureau picks 6th leader class

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Farm Bureau Federation has selected a group of 10 young agricultural leaders to participate in the sixth class of the Partners in Agricultural Leadership honors program.

Selected to participate in the 2011 program are:

Rachel Bina, North Dakota; Jonathan Cavin, Virginia; Travis Gebhart, South Dakota; Megan Gravois, Louisiana; Heather Hill, Indiana; Theresa Lawton, Massachusetts; Hilary Maricle, Nebraska; Jason Rodgers, South Carolina; Malissa Fritz Schentzel, Minnesota; and Misty Wall, Utah.

Farm Bureau’s PAL program is carried out with support from the Monsanto Company, Farm Credit and AFBF. It is designed to strengthen participants’ leadership skills and put their abilities to work for the benefit of agriculture.

“We’re pleased to announce the members of the sixth PAL class and we look forward to the contributions they will make as individuals and collectively to strengthen American agriculture and tell the farmer’s story,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “Each of the previous PAL classes has been an outstanding success. Thanks to continued partnerships with Monsanto and the Farm Credit Foundation, we are confident this class also will prove to be a stellar experience for participants.”

The PAL program provides young farmers and ranchers with the opportunity to hone their leadership skills after they have served as AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee members/officers or participated in competitive YF&R events.

“Another benefit of this program is that it often serves as a bridge between YF&R and other agricultural leadership roles,” Stallman said.

By participating in PAL, the young leaders will enrich their skills in problem solving, persuasion and consensus building. At the same time, they will be deepening their knowledge of specific agricultural and public policy issues.

Upon completion of the PAL program, participants will be fully equipped to represent agriculture in the media, on speaking circuits or in legislative activities. PAL graduates serve as “advocates for agriculture,” telling the farmer’s story and promoting awareness on issues important to those in the farm-to-consumer food chain.

State Farm Bureaus nominate applicants for the PAL program. Applicants must be “Sweet 16” finalists in the national YF&R Discussion Meet; top 10 finalists in the YF&R Achievement Award or Excellence in Agriculture Award competitions; former members of the AFBF YF&R committee or former state YF&R committee chairs.

Visit http://www.fb.org/index.php?action=programs.yfr.pal for more information on the PAL program.



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