New Kansas Ag and Rural Leader Class Named

Thirty Kansans were named to the 12th Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership, Inc. (KARL) class at a celebration over the weekend.KSU research and Extension

“Big shoes will be needed to walk in the path of those that stepped up before us,” said Al Davis, president of KARL, in announcing the class roll. The program is a two-year educational experience offering intensive study, training and travel for emerging leaders in agriculture and rural communities.

Davis said the newest KARL class represents both the small Kansas community and urban viewpoints.

“The class members were incredibly excited to get the notice calls and humbled by the selection due to the competitiveness of the candidate pool,” Davis added.

The class average age has risen from 32 for Class XI to 35.3 for Class XII, and will include 12 women, and the most farmers and ranchers in years – with 20 full- and part-time producers.

The class will participate in nine in-state seminars, Lindquist said. Study tours over the two years include a national blue chip seminar, which is an executive review of a Fortune 500 corporation’s strategic management processes; a tour to Washington, D.C. to study decision making on the federal level; and an international study tour will be the capstone event in 2015.

“The blue chip seminar will be hosted by Burlington Northern Santa Fe in Waco, Texas, while the international study tour will take the group to South Africa,” Davis said. “South Africa is rapidly growing into a major competitor and partner in feeding the world.”

The new KARL class members will soon begin attending seminars, with the first year focused on economic literacy instruction, communications training, conflict management exposure and the development of contacts at the local, state and national levels. The second year includes sessions on biosecurity, energy, water conservation, food safety, trade balance issues and ends with a study tour to experience the culture, political system and agriculture of a competitor and trading partner.

“By learning about the world, as well as local and national issues, KARL graduates are prepared to take on today’s critical challenges,” Davis said.

The new KARL class was introduced at the Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure Conference Center west of Salina. The KARL board of directors, graduates and donors were on hand to celebrate the announcement of the 30 newest members of the statewide leadership training experience.

KARL’s mission is to provide leadership development for agricultural and rural stakeholders by designing and offering education and enrichment programs as well as a forum for continuous engagement.

KARL training carries a value of nearly $20,000 per person. Since tax revenues are not used for the program, funding is provided by contributions from the private sector. Donations from individuals, organizations, companies, corporations and foundations provide more than 80 percent of the program’s budget. The participants pay a tuition fee of $2,000 each of the two years for the remaining costs.

People wishing to invest in their future by supporting the program can make tax deductible contributions directly to KARL at 101 Umberger Hall, Manhattan KS 66506. Call (785) 532-6300 or go to the program website for more information.

KARL Class XII members –

Atchison – Matthew Symns
Beloit – Tony King; Heather Hartman
Cedar Point – Sara Dawson
Chanute – Wade Collins
Colby – Tanner Brown
Danville – Riley James Ellerman
Dexter – Shannon Martin
Dodge City – Sarah Farlee
Garden City – Jonathan D. Lightner
Goodland – Timothy Franklin
Hepler – Kyra O’Brien
Horton – Gregory Paul Rodvelt
Ingalls – Ryan Jay Brady
Kansas City – Joseph Thomas
Kiowa – Miranda Walz-Allen
Lawrence – Wade Wilbur
Manhattan – Andrea Stroberg Kitch; Greg Legleiter; Brett Esau
Marysville – Travis Mason
McPherson – Shane Michael Eck
Moundridge – Grant Good
Natoma – Teresa Chrilser
Newton – Matthew Voth
Park City – Lesley Schmidt
Spring Hill – Susan Mackey
Topeka – Chelsea Kay Good
WaKeeney – Scott (Bronc) Barrows
Washington – Rebecca Frerking