LEAD 2015 Deadline

LEAD 2015 Deadline

Deadline June 15 for 2015 LEAD Applications 

June 11, 2015

Becoming a strong advocate for Nebraska agriculture starts with understanding its diversity and complexity as well as being passionate about its strengths. How better to gain that understanding than through the Nebraska LEAD Program.

Soon beginning its 35th year of developing agricultural leaders, Nebraska LEAD is forming its next class, with applications due this Monday, June 15. LEAD participants:

  • learn about all aspects of the state's agricultural industry and how regulatory or social changes can impact any area;
  • build peer networks they can turn to for counsel as technologies, regulations, and responsibilities change;
  • identify new role models;
  • build a knowledge base and self-confidence in advocating for agriculture; and
  • develop and sharpen problem-solving and decision-making skills.

These are among the benefits cited by LEAD members, including LEAD alum Jolene Messinger of McCook, co-owner of Messinger Lands, Inc. and president of JRM Financial Services.  She said she gained "an amazing network of alumni as well as contacts made through the program and a close-knit group of classmates who I know I can call if I need suggestions or help with any kind of ag-related problem. The most important benefit for myself was the wealth of knowledge about agriculture in the state of Nebraska as a whole."

When starting the program, Messinger learned that she didn't know enough about the state's leading industry. 

"I went into the program thinking I was going to be the "uneducated" person in the group, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear from my other fellows that those who lived in northeast Nebraska weren't aware of the water issues happening to us in southwest Nebraska, and were unaware of how the whole sugarbeet and bean industry in the northwest portion of the state affected the state's agricultural economy. It was amazing to see all these intelligent, successful pepole from all over the state learning so much from one another about each other's professionas and industries."

"This program is an unbelievable source of knowledge and connections to the agricultural community, not only on a state level but on a national level," Messinger wrote.

She offered potential applicants one bit of advice: "The program is very time consuming, so if someone is going to apply, they need to make sure this is something that is a priority to them and their families. Honing leadership skills is vitally important to our industry, and if someone is passionate about that, then this program is an excellent fit."

Application Details

The application deadline for the next LEAD Class is this Monday, June 15. 

Applicants must be involved in farming, ranching, or agribusiness, complete a written application, and interview with a district screening committee. The Board of Directors of the Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council is responsible for the final selection of participants

For more information on applying, contact Terry Hejny, Nebraska LEAD director, at thejny1@unl.edu or 402-472-6810.  Learn more about the program, including state, national, and international study opportunities, at www.lead.unl.edu or on Facebook.

Lisa Jasa
CropWatch Editor