Extension launches ag leadership program
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s premier agricultural leadership program has officially launched.
Nine industry professionals from across the state are the first participants in the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program, or TCALP. Through a series of rigorous seminars over the next 22 months, these professionals will gain skills and knowledge in entrepreneurship, agribusiness, leadership theory, public policy and global markets.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service developed the program with support from the Mississippi Farm Bureau. Participants will visit Washington, D.C., and fly overseas to see agricultural systems in another country before the conclusion of the program in 2019.
“We think this program is vitally important to the future of agriculture in the state of Mississippi,” said MSU Extension Director Gary Jackson. “Participants are going to be traveling around Mississippi learning more about our state and the importance of our rural communities. They will also study the U.S. farm bill and gain in-depth knowledge in agricultural public policy in the nation’s capital.”
The participants are Sean Boe of Moselle, owner and operator of Boe Farms; Christian Good of Macon, partner in Philip Good/Christian Good Farms; Noble Guedon of Natchez, corporate manager at Goldman Equipment; Amanda Hudson of Wiggins, vice president of loan operations for Southern Ag Credit; Kirby Mauldin of Laurel, owner and operator of Mauldin Poultry Farm; Brett McCool of Bailey, harvesting and transportation manager for Weyerhaeuser; Josh Miller of Yazoo City, owner and operator of Little Onward Plantation; Will Smythe of Leland, partner in F.J. Smythe & Sons Farm; and William White of Starkville, research station manager at the H.H. Leveck Animal Research Center at MSU.
TCALP Program Director Laura L. Greenhaw said she hopes the participants will expand their agricultural awareness on the local, national and global levels through the experience.
“The design of this program is intended to be half leadership development and instruction and half in-depth educational excursions,” Greenhaw said. “What we’ve designed and the time we’ve set up for producers to interact with people outside the realm of agriculture is intentional and purposeful.”