Leadership Program at Colorado State Enhances Skills of Rural Citizens

The Colorado Agriculture and Rural Leadership program will begin this fall under the guidance of Colorado State University. The program, which was started and formerly managed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, will be integrated into the College of Agricultural Sciences and Cooperative Extension.

The two-year program enhances leadership skills of rural Colorado citizens who are in or who are working toward positions of influence and leadership within their communities and agricultural organizations. A large portion of the program entails travel around the state and nation so participants can explore issues that relate to and transcend the agricultural industry including community issues, growth, water, natural resources and international trade.

"Effective leadership of Colorado agriculture and rural communities is more critical today than it has ever been before," said Jim Heird, interim vice provost and dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. "Issues are more complex and much greater local input and visioning is required for creating effective solutions."

More than 170 Coloradoans have graduated from the program since it began in 1983. Many are now active leaders in industry, their communities, around the state and within the nation.

Participation is limited to 25 people each two-year class. Participants can be nominated or request applications to apply directly to the program. Nominations should be made as soon as possible. Applications are due by Aug. 5. Additional information and nomination forms are available at www.agsci.colostate.edu/CARL or by contacting the program office at 970-491-2246. Early submission is encouraged.

The first Colorado Agriculture and Rural Leadership classes under the new structure will begin during the fall of 2002. Participants will explore leadership theory and philosophy, state and federal policies that impact rural communities and the agricultural industry, rural and agricultural issues, domestic and international economies, and experiential lessons in broad areas of agriculture.

The university will provide staff to direct, develop and manage the program and a portion of tuition will be paid for by the leadership organization, according to Don Nitchie, program director.