Class 44 Selected for Leadership Program

Taylor HillmanGeneral

Twenty-four individuals have been selected for Class 44 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program, an advanced leadership development experience for emerging agricultural leaders. The new fellows will be inaugurated on Oct. 17 at Fresno State.

Through dynamic seminars during an intensive 16-month program, fellows will study leadership theory, effective communication, motivation, critical and strategic thinking, change management, emotional intelligence, and complex social and cultural issues.

Seminars are delivered by four partner universities – Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Fresno State and UC Davis – and other academic institutions. Fellows will participate in 55 seminar days, including a 10-day national travel seminar and a 15-day international travel seminar.

“In this rapidly changing environment, we need strong leaders who will be better prepared to deal effectively, competently and confidently with the issues and challenges affecting agriculture, businesses, organizations and communities,” said Bob Gray, president and CEO of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF). “The new fellows will use the important skills and lessons learned in the program to make a difference as successful future leaders.”

CALF invests about $45,000 per fellow to participate in the program, which is underwritten by individual and industry donations. Ag Leadership is considered to be one of the premier leadership development programs in the United States. Since it was first delivered in 1970, more than 1,200 men and women have participated in the program and have become influential leaders and active volunteers in the agriculture industry and other areas.

Class 44 Fellows:

• Matthew Altman, Altman Plants, Vista
• Jose Arriaga, Department of Agriculture, San Diego
• John Chandler, Chandler Farms, Selma
• Gabe Cooper, J.G. Boswell Co., Corcoran
• Megan Foster, Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau, Yuba City
• Dustin Fuller, Raisin Administrative Committee, Lemoore
• Steve Garland, Five Star Bank, Loomis
• Taylor Genzoli, Hilmar Cheese, Hilmar
• Layci Gragnani, Greenheart Farms, Arroyo Grande
• Eric Heinrich, Heinrich Agriculture, Modesto
• Patrick Hooker, Colorful Harvest, Salinas
• Greg Krzys, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Temecula
• Jessica Light, Zoetis, Sloughhouse
• Tom Merwin, Merwin Vineyards, Clarksburg
• Trevor Meyers, Meyers Farming, Firebaugh
• Heather Mulholland, Mulholland Citrus, Orange Cove
• Matt Neubert, Helena Chemical Company, Yuba City
• Paul Parreira, Parreira Almond Processing Co., Los Banos
• Justin Perino, Scheid Vineyards, Salinas
• Julie Rentner, River Partners, Modesto
• Carissa Rivers, Audubon California, Winters
• Brandon Souza, AdFarm, Sacramento
• Eric Thor, Rabobank, Fresno
• Luke Wilson, Wil-Ker-Son Ranch, Gridley