(Posted Thu. Sep 13th, 2012)

Sept. 13:  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 National Corn Growers Association training program.   NCGA’s Advanced Leadership Training Program, sponsored by Syngenta, launched its third class this week in Minneapolis, Minn.  The session helps qualified and motivated candidates fine-tune their leadership skills and prepare them to lead the industry forward. 


"Advanced Leadership training is providing an excellent opportunity to hone skills with media and interpersonal communications,” said NCGA First Vice President Elect Martin Barbre, a grower from Carmi, Ill.  “Many in attendance have already had a significant amount of leadership experience and, particularly with so many members of NCGA’s top leadership involved, we have been working with a laser focus to ensure we are at the top of our game and ready to lead our organization into 2013 and beyond." 


During the course, a small group of active grower leaders looked at the concepts of transformational leadership, negotiation tactics and crisis communications theory.  Additionally, the group practiced advocacy communications through presentations and through writing.


“Advanced Leadership continues Syngenta’s commitment to fostering effective leaders for corn and across agriculture,” said Rex Martin, the firm’s 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 its 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 Keith Alverson (Chester, S.D.); Martin Barbre (Carmi, Ill.); Ron Gray (Claremont, Ill.); Joel Grams (Minden, Neb.); Paul Herringshaw (Bowling Green, Ohio); Wesley Spurlock (Stratford, Texas); Dean Taylor (Prairie City, Iowa); and H. Grant Troop (Oxford, Pa.).


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.