A new program designed to inspire future leading in agriculture has been launched.
A pair of farmer-based organizations, the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) and Alberta Barley (AB), have initiated the AdvancingAg Future Leaders program that will help the future leaders of agriculture develop through a leadership and mentor experience.
“The goal is to pair young agri-professionals – whether that is young farmers or those interested in a specific career in the agriculture industry – with leaders who can share their knowledge and experience and facilitate key professional development opportunities,” explained Kevin Bender, the AWC vice-chair and a member of the AdvancingAg selection committee.
The program will run between 10 and 12 months with young agricultural professionals ranging from 18 to 35, paired with a carefully selected mentor based on interests and career goals. That person will demonstrate their passion for the industry, be eager to share their experiences and assist in shaping the growth and development of the younger farmer.
It is hoped that the program will have a eight pairings in its initial start this year and increase that figure to 15 as the program moves ahead.
“We felt it was important to launch a program like this for the cropping sector because we want to advance the skills of young agri-professionals as they start their careers and provide them with industry-specific training, networking and learning opportunities,” stated Dave Bishop, Alberta Barley vice-chair and a member of the program’s selection committee.
The pairings will also be able to take advantage of professional development funding provided by the program as well as participate in a workshop-style leadership forum hosted by the AdvancingAg program.
However, the only way the program can reach those numbers is through industry support, and according AWC communications director Amanda Ryan, it’s imperative that the best in the business become partners with the program.
“We will seek out mentors that fit the aspirations and goals of the mentee. We have an idea of some folks within this industry that would make great mentors and will utilize them if the fit is right,” she said.
”There are numerous opportunities for mentees. We are really just looking for young professionals that are excited about agriculture, and want to make a difference and an impact in this industry.”
Anyone interested is encouraged to visit www.advancingag.ca for more information or to complete the online application. The deadline is March 13. People can also follow the program on Twitter @AdvancingAg.