The American Farm Bureau Federation recently selected an outstanding group of young farmer and rancher leaders as the organization’s 11th Partners in Advocacy Leadership class. AFBF designed PAL to help agricultural leaders accelerate their engagement abilities and solidify their roles as advocates for agriculture.
“Advocating for agricultural issues benefits rural communities at the local, state and national levels,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Today, more than ever before, it’s critical for farmers and ranchers to step forward with confidence as they promote issues important to those in the farm-to-consumer food chain.”
Included in the PAL training is Wasatch County dairy farmer and cheesemaker, Russ Kohler. Russ is a board member of the Wasatch County Farm Bureau and the former National Young Farmer & Rancher chair.
Other members of PAL Class 11 are: Heather Barnes, North Carolina; Seth Earl, Michigan; Jason Fellows, Idaho; Laura Haffner, Kansas; Rachel Harmann, Wisconsin; Eileen Jensen, New York; Ben Menges, Arizona; Megan Richner, Missouri; and Dana Stewart, Arkansas.
PAL training involves four learning modules designed to develop specific advocacy skills while exploring components of leadership and its theories and philosophies. The modules build on one another over the two years of the program and include intense, in-person, hands-on training.
PAL graduates emerge with the experience and confidence—in everything from legislative policy making and issues management to social media and media relations—to effectively engage all critical stakeholders.
To be eligible for the PAL program, candidates must be between the ages of 30 and 45, with demonstrated leadership skills. The program is sponsored by AFBF, Farm Credit and Bayer CropScience.