24 Jan Agribusiness associations complete first session of leadership program
Kansas Grain and Feed Association (KGFA) and Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA) welcomed the 23rd class of Tomorrow’s Agribusiness Leaders to Topeka on Jan. 21 for the program’s first of three sessions.
The program, which began in 1998 and has graduated more than 200 members, is a jointly-sponsored initiative of KGFA and KARA designed to hone leadership traits as well as teach members of the associations about the state and federal legislative and regulatory process. This year’s class featured: Aaron Anderson (Nutrien Ag Solutions); Hillary Birtell (CoMark Equity Alliance); Kalen Cromwell (Farmers Cooperative Grain Association); Kiley DeDonder (WinField United); Micala Dummit (The Scoular Company); Brice Elnicki (Producers Cooperative Association of Girard); Amy Fairchild (KFSA); Scott Moseley (KC Supply Company); Tyler Peterson (Pride Ag Resources); and Spencer Reames (MKC)
“Every January, I look forward to the TAL class coming to Topeka for the first session eager to learn about the legislative process and their association,” KGFA and KARA president and CEO Ron Seeber said. “It’s one of the most satisfying parts of my profession to see graduation in November where they walk away with a wealth of experience on both state and federal government. Later on, when we call on them to contact their legislator about a proposed law, they answer the call every time.”
The first session included an overview of the associations as well as conversations and meetings with Kansas’ secretary of agriculture Mike Beam, attorney general Derek Schmidt, government affairs specialists from peer agriculture associations and visits with legislators at the Kansas Capitol. The class also introduced themselves in front of the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources committee and received a tour of the capitol.
“I learned that our voice really does matter,” said Kalen Cromwell of Farmers Cooperative Grain Association. “Taking the time to talk to your legislators can have an impact. If there is an issue that affects you or your company, the legislators are there to listen and try to help.”
The class will meet again in July to travel to Washington, D.C., to visit with Kansas’ congressional delegation and national associations. Following the trip to our nation’s capital, the program concludes with its third session of leadership development in Wichita in September.