(Posted Mon. Aug 1st, 2011)

Aug. 1: Growers are gathering today in Minneapolis in anticipation of the first session of the National Corn Growers Association’s Leadership Academy, sponsored by Syngenta. Upon completion of the program in January, the participants will join more than 500 colleagues who have graduated from this program in the past 25 years.


At the meeting, participants will get up-close look at NCGA from President Bart Schott and First Vice President Garry Niemeyer, both of whom are Leadership Academy alumni. They will take part in media training and public speaking exercises as well as association management presentations. In addition, the class will look at the state of biotechnology and present challenges and opportunities for corn growers and enjoyed a comprehensive economic forecast from futurist Bob Treadway.


“As a Leadership Academy graduate, I have a deep appreciation for the expertise attendees develop in such a short time, and of the ability of Syngenta and other presenters to hone in on what is most needed,” Schott said. “As NCGA president, I am proud that so many promising leaders choose to get involved and attend the program. When these volunteers come together, you can feel their passion for the industry. It is heartening to know that such strong candidates will carry on our mission well into the future.”


This year’s class includes Darren Armstrong (N.C.), Ryan Buck (Minn.), Dan Cole (Ill.), Andy Dupraz (S.D.), Steve Duwe (Wis.), Chris Erlandson (N.D.), Lori Feltis (Minn.), Larry Hasheider (Ill.), Gary Hudson (Ill.), Carson Klosterman (N.D.), Travis Mockler (S.D.), Mike Moreland (Mo.), Bruce Peterson (Minn.), Jason Reiners (Neb.), Kevin Rempp (Iowa), Michael Reskovac (Pa.), Bruce Rohwer (Iowa), Tim Scheer (Neb.), Greg Schneider (Mo.), and Jannie de Villiers (Pretoria, South Africa).


The second phase of the Leadership Academy runs Jan. 23-25 in Washington and will cover public policy, lobbying, parliamentary procedure and visits to Capitol Hill. In addition to Leadership Academy, NCGA continues its more personalized advanced leadership training program in September, also sponsored by Syngenta. Advanced Leadership Academy provides intensive leadership training to a handful of well-qualified applicants.