STILLWATER, Okla. – The newest class of the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program is gearing up for its first seminar in Stillwater. Slated Aug. 22-24, Class XVI will gather for the first time for “Launch of the OALP Experience” on the Oklahoma State University campus.
OALP, one of Oklahoma’s top leadership programs for emerging agricultural leaders, has been going strong now for 30 years. It is a 20-month program that focuses on the development of leaders in the agricultural and agri-business world.
Edmond Bonjour, OALP director, said he is excited to be working with this new and diverse class.
“From the agricultural production side, this new class is involved in crop and tree farming; cattle, hog and sheep operations; as well as fruit and vegetable production,” said Bonjour, an alumni of Class XIII and who saw his inaugural OALP class gradate earlier this spring. “On the agricultural business side of the class, they represent farm agencies, education, agritourism, conservationists, lending, law, legislative liaison and a processor. They also represent 16 different counties. It’s exciting to have such diverse backgrounds in this new class.”
During the first seminar the class will learn about setting goals, hear from alumni about their OALP experiences, receive an overview of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, have a presentation on understanding and defining leadership and learn the finer points of dining etiquette. They also will spend one day on team-building activities at the OSU Outdoor Adventure Challenge Course.
“This activity will definitely challenge and stretch some of the class members, especially when we go to the high-ropes portion of the course,” Bonjour said.
The class also will serve the Stillwater Community Dinner when they are in town for the seminar. During the previous class, Bonjour incorporated a community service aspect to the program, which was well received by both the class members and the local communities they visited.
Class XVI will meet again in October where they will travel to the western and southwestern part of the state.
Bonjour said the 20-month program consists of 11 three-day seminars and study tours within Oklahoma, a week-long seminar in Washington, D.C. and a two-week international experience near the end of the program.
Oklahoma State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, State and Local Governments Cooperating: The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, or status as a veteran, and is an equal opportunity employer.
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