(Posted Thu. Sep 15th, 2011)

Sept. 15:  While harvest progresses throughout much of the Corn Belt, a select group of growers are ramping up their efforts to become the most effective leaders possible through a new National Corn Growers Association training program.


NCGA’s Advanced Leadership Training Program, sponsored by Syngenta, launched its second class this week in Greensboro, N.C.  The session helps qualified and motivated candidates finely hone their leadership skills and prepared them to lead the industry forward. 


"Advanced Leadership training is providing an excellent opportunity to hone skills with media and interpersonal communications,” said Paul Taylor, a grower from Esmond, Ill.  “It has been great so far, and we're eager for more." 


During the course, a small group of active grower leaders tackled tough leadership issues such as organizational troubleshooting, positive negotiations and advocacy communications.  Additionally, the group attended an in-depth media training course at Syngenta’s North Carolina headquarters.


“Advanced Leadership continues Syngenta’s commitment to fostering effective leaders for corn and across agriculture,” said Rex Martin, industry relations manager.  “This program takes graduates of Leadership Academy that are presently in leadership roles to the next level helping them become transformational leaders.   They can take these enhanced skills back to improve their state and national associations and fellow leaders around them.”


This program aims to help develop top notch state and national leadership that is empowered to share their skill set within the industry and community. It builds upon the “Leadership at Its Best” Program which has helped develop corn industry leadership since 1986.


Attending Advanced Leadership Training this year are Bob Bowman (DeWitt, Iowa); Bill Chase (Wolsey, S.D.); Morris Heitman (Mound City, Mo.); Darrin Ihnen (Hurley, S.D.); Paul Taylor (Esmond, Ill.); and Kevin Skunes (Arthur, N.D.).


Since 1986, NCGA, the state corn associations and, more importantly, the U.S. corn industry, have benefited tremendously from the original Leadership at Its Best program, which provides invaluable media, communications, association management and public policy knowledge and skills to its participants. In February, attendees will meet again for Advanced Leadership II which covers lobbying and coalition building, legal and fiduciary training, public policy briefings and agency visits.