Kentucky Creates Paths for Ag Leaders

Two programs at the University of Kentucky aim students toward leadership in agriculture.

Published on: Sep 15, 2011

Colleges routinely turn out engineers, accountants, lawyers, doctors, teachers and future academicians. More importantly, some might argue, they also turn out leaders. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture is no exception with its Center for Leadership Development, housed in the Department of Community and Leadership Development.

This year, students have a choice of enrolling in one of two certificate programs offered by the center, the Explorations in Leadership program and the Turner Leadership Academy.

Explorations in Leadership is a new one-year program for College of Agriculture undergraduate students. Enrollment is limited to 18 students. To earn a certificate, students must take Effective Leadership Skills, a one-credit-hour class offered during spring semester that consists of eight leadership development workshops. They must also maintain a GPA in good standing, write reflections for each leadership experience and workshop, and participate in at least one on-campus student organization.

The Turner Leadership Academy offers a certificate in leadership to undergraduates with a declared major in the College of Agriculture. It is a two-year program that includes workshops, courses, community service and mentors, all of which combine to develop the students' specific leadership goals.

"Employers often look for people with leadership skills and experiences. These certificate programs provide a foundation and learning arena for our students who want to excel in the world," said Patricia Dyk, director of the Center for Leadership Development, which offers both leadership programs.

The 2011 cohort of Turner Leadership Academy graduates included agricultural biotechnology majors Carrie Butts of Princeton, Amber Simpson of Chicago, Ill., Reiya Hayden of Virginia Beach, Va., and Alysha Lewis of Radcliff; agricultural education and animal science major Andrea Taylor of Irvine; and Madeleine Morey, a hospitality management and tourism major from Nicholasville. Butts received the $500 award for best portfolio.

The Turner Leadership Academy was created in memory of the late Larry W. Turner, former associate dean for extension and director of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, who was committed to leadership development.

For more information, visit the Center for Leadership Development's website http://www2.ca.uky.edu/CFLD/student_leadership.php  or contact Lissa Pohl, program outreach associate, at lissa.pohl@uky.edu.