LANSING, Mich. — Michiganians in the ag industry wanting to learn more and hone their personal skills in Communication, Organization, Relationships and Engagement just wrapped up one year of focused sessions ending with a final presentation. The second group of emerging Michigan leaders just graduated last week from the MI Ag CORE Leadership Program.
The MI Ag CORE Leadership Program was developed by and is supported by the Michigan Potato Industry Commission, the Michigan Wheat Program and the Michigan Soybean Committee. The idea for MI Ag CORE came from the lessons learned by these organizations’ leaders working in the agricultural “trenches” on a day-to-day basis.
“I saw that agriculture was missing a well-rounded program for those looking to move directly into management or those who were heading in that direction,” said Turner. “The MI Ag CORE came together as a collection of skills that the three of us thought would have been beneficial to us, as we grew into our positions.”
This second cohort of 15 ag professionals began in January 2023 with a two-part “DISC” talent/skill assessment. They applied that knowledge throughout the year as they also did work in the areas of communications, human resources, and governance. The 7-session program – part in-person and part online – wrapped up earlier last week with in-person presentations.
“I was so pleased with the group, and to see their evolution over the past year,” added Pollok-Newsom. “I look forward to watching them grow in the future and see where their careers take them. Agriculture needs continual infusions of fresh talent and a fresh view. This program allows for that while cohorts are building friendships that will last.”
Those graduating from the program include:
Dalton Adams (Three Rivers), Melissa Boersema (Johannesburg), Joshua Brood (Lansing), Garrett Collins (Three Rivers), Thomas Dixon (Kalkaska), Cassie Hetherington (Edmore), Jenna Falor (Bad Axe), Travis Horkey (Dundee), David Lang (Lansing), Joel Layman (Berrien Springs), Justin Morgan (Sears), Ethan Patterson (Saginaw), Azamat Sardarbekov (East Lansing), Ian Smith (East Lansing), and Josh Taylor (Frankenmuth).
MI AG CORE leaders asked cohorts how to make it better for the next group which kicks off in January 2024 and what they thought of the program. Justin Morgan from Morgan Composting said, “You helped changed me and my staff in such a positive way. Thank you.”
The three program developers thank the following sponsors for their financial support during MI Ag CORE’s second year. Those financially supporting the program were: Greenstone, Walther Farms, MI Allied Poultry, Becks Hybrids and Morgan Composting.
“Our goal is to have a very affordable program for attendees,” said Ben Steyer, CEO of the Michigan Soybean Committee. “Support from industry has allowed us to do just that. We have started to secure sponsors for 2024, but there are still some spots available.”
More information on sponsorship, as well as the overall MI AG CORE program is available at MIAGCORE.com. All attendee spots have been filled for the 2024 year, but registration will open again next fall for the 2025 program year.
The MI Ag CORE program was developed with financial and resources support from the Michigan Potato Industry Commission, the Michigan Soybean Committee, and the Michigan Wheat Program. Each of these organizations are nonprofit grower-funded commodity check-off organizations with a strong interest in an even better future for Michigan agriculture.
— Michigan Wheat Program