TCALP recruiting efforts underway

From press reports

Early-career producers and allied agricultural professionals looking to develop leadership skills and policy knowledge about farming issues should apply to participate in Mississippi’s premier agricultural leadership training program.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service, in partnership with the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, has established the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program, or TCALP.

The 22-month, nine-seminar program will help emerging leaders in the state’s agricultural industry enhance their professionalism and communication abilities, as well as develop team-building skills, including collaboration and conflict management.

TCALP program director Laura L. Greenhaw said participants will gain exposure to successful and innovative businesses to improve economic literacy and community decision-making practices.

“Class members will sharpen their awareness of policymaking and legislative processes through governmental analysis and an investigation of influence,” Greenhaw said. “They will deepen their understanding of the full realm of agriculture and rural development to support vibrant communities, creating a vision for the future of Mississippi.”

Greenhaw said program objectives also include providing an understanding of the effects of globalization on agriculture and rural communities, facilitating participant collaboration with other professionals serving agriculture and rural communities, fostering an entrepreneurial culture in rural communities as they adapt to changing markets and changing policies, and encouraging lifelong learning and development as a leader who shares those skills with others.

Six seminars will be held throughout the Magnolia State, highlighting various agricultural commodities of each respective region. Another seminar will take place in Washington, D.C., emphasizing agricultural policy and legislation. Class members will also travel to another state to experience the breadth and diversity of national agricultural production. Additionally, class members will expand their global agricultural awareness through an international experience. Approximately 35 days of intensive instruction will be delivered over the 22-month program.

Participants must be U.S. citizens working in some part of the agribusiness community in Mississippi. These positions may include production agriculture or an allied industry closely related to agriculture. There are no specific age or educational requirements; however, experience is strongly considered in the selection process. Applications are due June 30.

For more information about TCALP and to submit an application to participate in the first class, visit http://extension.msstate.edu/tcalp.