State ag leadership program accepting applications through April 15

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership program will accept applications through April 15 from state residents interested in participating in KARL’s 2017-2019 class.

The two-year program includes three study tours, as well as nine winter, 48-hour seminars at sites across the state, said KARL director Al Davis. The program schedules its in-state seminars plus two national seminars and a “capstone” international tour for November through March.  The program has consistently taken the production agriculture’s “off season” into consideration in its structure.

“KARL alumni and current class members all go out of their way to tell us that the 54-day commitment is well worth the investment and quite easy to manage since it is dispersed over a two-year period. They also submit that the intensive training is much more needed in today’s changing and competitive environment,” Davis added.

“Since moving back to Goodland, I have been asked by numerous people to serve on various boards and community positions, which range from church activities to school board and even county commissioner,” said Tim Franklin, farm producer from Goodland and KARL Class XII member. “Every organization wants to hear new ideas from young people returning to their rural communities. I have had to learn to say ‘no’ so as not to be overwhelmed. As a result, I am seeing the need for strong individuals in our communities which motivated me to apply for the KARL Program in order to improve my skills as I assume leadership roles in my community. By broadening my experiences and increasing my knowledge, I have become a well-rounded person for my business and community and I have accepted statewide and national leadership roles during the process. KARL is important to me to continue to learn and challenge myself throughout life. KARL training, networks and experiences help me do that by the diversity of experiences represented in my class and by the extensive curriculum the program provides.”

To be considered for the next KARL class, applicants must submit a completed profile form, available online at www.karlprogram.com/.

KARL’s board of directors will screen the profiles and select the top 45 applicants to be scheduled for interviews in early May. The program will announce its 30-member Class XIV on June 1. Tuition for the not-for-profit training program is $2,500 per year or a total of $5,000.  KARL donors contribute the remainder of the expenses to cover a fellowship valued at $21,000.  The overall experience, budgeted over $26,000 per person, allows for the volunteer board of directors to select participants based on leadership ability and anticipated return on investment.