Seventeen young farmers from throughout the state have been selected to participate in a new leadership program sponsored by the Alabama Farmers Federation.The Alabama Farmers Federation Agricultural Leaders For Alabama (A.L.F.A.) program is a two-year intensive learning experience that will focus on personal development, political involvement, effective communication and other skills necessary to be a better leader.The program will have eight sessions, or institutes, over a two-year period to provide classroom instruction and practical experience in three core areas of development: communication, leadership and technical proficiency designed to help shape future ag policy.”Agriculture is still our state’s largest industry, and as the number of farmers has declined over the years, it’s become even more important for agriculture to have a strong voice,” said Brandon Moore, director of the Federation’s Young Farmers program who is coordinating the leadership program along with Brian Hardin of the Federation’s Commodity Department.”We want our participants to be good leaders in our organization, but we also want them to be good leaders on the local, state and national levels.”County Farmers Federation presidents were asked to nominate participants for the program. Nominees were chosen by a selection committee for the inaugural program and were announced at the Federation’s annual meeting in Mobile on Dec. 3.Participants will attend meetings and tours, plus two state annual meetings of the Alabama Farmers Federation.The participants in the first institute, by county, are: John Bitto of Baldwin, Jeff Maze of Blount, Jeremy Goss of Calhoun , Mark Gaines of Cherokee , Ben Haynes of Cullman, Heather Wright of Dallas, Townsend Kyser of Hale, Samuel Prim and Colby Willoughby of Houston, Richard Holladay of Lowndes, Blair Sistrunk of Macon, Jackie Tate of Madison, Robert Cruise of Morgan, Steve Stroud of Pike, Renee Fochtman of Shelby, Walt Richardson and Mark Platt of Washington.
New A.L.F.A. Leadership Program Slated To Begin In March