The first meeting of the new Iowa Corn Leadership Enhancement And Development class, known as I-LEAD, class was held at the Iowa Corn Growers Association office in Des Moines on November 8-9, 2012. The class consists of current farmers, agribusiness and governmental emerging leaders from across the state. This is the 6th I-LEAD class to be chosen since the program was started over a decade ago.
"The number of highly qualified applicants was outstanding," says Bob Hemesath, an ICGA farmer director and chair of the committee that oversees the I-LEAD program. "This class represents the top future leaders that exist here in Iowa and I am looking forward to being a part of their two-year leadership adventure."
Future of Iowa agriculture depends on developing leaders who have a passion for agriculture
The Iowa Corn I-LEAD program was developed and is sponsored by the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) and the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA). The corn grower organization recognizes that the future of Iowa agriculture depends on developing leaders who have a passion for agriculture, says Hemesath. The goal of the two-year program is to provide Iowa's talented men and women with the tools they need to succeed as leaders and spokespeople.
The first session for Class #6 held last week included leadership style learning and team building. Other sessions will include learning about agricultural commodities, taking a domestic agricultural mission and learning about agricultural policy information. The class may choose to fundraise for an international mission to their location of choice in the second year before graduation. More than 100 leaders have graduated from the I-LEAD program since it began and many of these people have gone onto leadership roles within the Iowa Corn Growers Association, the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and other community and commodity organizations.
Participants in I-LEAD Class #6 were selected through an application and interview process. Their names and the towns they are from are as follows:
Jarrod Bakker (Dike), Laurie Bedord (Ankeny), Carly Cummings (Ames), Ryan Gallagher (Washington), Paul Gieselman (Morning Sun), Adam Gregg (Johnston), Jeff Johnson (Riverton), Mark Kenney (Ankeny), Josh Lammert (Silver City), Kayla Lyon (Ames), Gretchen McClain (Stockport), Thomas Meierotto (West Des Moines), Devin Mogler (Des Moines), Jason Ribbens (Webster City), Brian Rouse (Emmetsburg), Dan Runner (Gilman), Brent Schipper (Conrad), Vince Sitzmann (Prairie City), Adam Stamp (Ankeny), Jody Van Regenmorter (Inwood) and Chris Wolters (Sanborn)
I-LEAD is a resource for talented people who want to contribute to a better future for Iowa's communities and the long-term profitability of agriculture in Iowa, and is charged with the task of developing stronger leaders for Iowa agriculture.