The purpose of the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program is to provide rigorous and relevant education, increasing the leadership capacity of people working in agriculture and natural resources in Mississippi.
- Prepare participants to accept leadership responsibility in agriculture, agribusiness, and rural communities.
- Enhance participants’ ability to represent agriculture as effective communicators.
- Broaden understanding of major policy issues, especially issues facing agriculture and rural communities.
- Gain an understanding of the effects of globalization on agriculture and rural communities.
- Facilitate participant collaboration with other professionals serving agriculture and rural communities.
- Foster an entrepreneurial culture in rural communities that will adapt to fluctuating markets and changing policies.
- Encourage lifelong learning and development as a leader and to share those leadership skills with others.
Program format and schedule
TCALP consists of nine seminars over the course of twenty-two months. Six seminars will be hosted in locations around the state. Each in-state seminar will contain approximately two full days of learning experiences, balancing leadership content with in-depth agriculture learning. The three remaining seminars will consist of study tours to another state, Washington, D.C., as well as an international experience.
Class II Program Schedule*
|October 17-18||Class I Graduation/Class II Orientation|
|November 10-12||Seminar I
Orientation: Fundamentals of Leadership
(MSU Main Campus)
|January 26-29||Seminar II
Public Policy in Mississippi
|February 16-18||Seminar III
Adapting to Change and Emerging Technologies
|June 20-23||Seminar IV
Production and Processes: Population, Production, Consumption, and Global Competition
|November 14-18||Seminar V
Federal Policy, Legislation, and Agencies
|January 16-22||Seminar VI
Out-of-State Ag Leadership/Production
|July 9-18||Seminar VII
International Policy, Trade and Global Markets
|August 7-10||Seminar VIII
Agriculture and the Community: Economic Development
(MSU Main Campus)
*Specific dates will be published for each class when applications open. Order of seminars are subject to change.
Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, resident of Mississippi or actively working in Mississippi, and be involved in the agriculture industry or closely related industry. There are no specific educational requirements.
Interested persons will submit their application materials online through the TCALP website. Materials submitted shall include:
- Completed participant application form
- Current resume
- Statement of interest
- Contact information for three (3) references
The application form, as well as additional information, can be found here.
TCALP class participants will be selected based upon demonstrated motivation to improve their leadership, management, and communication skills in order to elevate the image and profitability of Mississippi agriculture and enhance the quality of life in rural communities. The program seeks individuals who possess:
- a dedicated commitment to agriculture and to the success of TCALP.
- a desire to learn, participate, collaborate, network, and attend all seminars.
- demonstrated leadership qualities and potential for leadership growth
- character, integrity, personality, and a solid reputation among family members, peers, and employers.
There is no age requirement, however, applicants selected for participation will have an established record of experience in the industry. If an applicant has limited experience, it may be recommended that they reapply for a future class.
Participants will be responsible for paying a tuition fee, determined prior to applications being accepted. The first installment of tuition will be due after notification of selection, prior to the first seminar. The second installment will be due at the beginning of the second year. In addition to tuition, participants will be responsible for their travel costs to each in-state seminar, hotel/traveling incidentals, and a few meals when a group activity is not planned. Participants will also be responsible for obtaining a passport and any necessary visas and health care costs prior to the international seminar. TCALP will cover all materials, lodging, dining, and other costs associated with each seminar, as well as transportation costs during each seminar and transportation costs to out-of-state seminars.
For more detailed information, please review the complete participant handbook.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Noble Guedon’s last act as a participant in the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program was to challenge members of the incoming class.
“You need to view this as a development opportunity to make yourselves better leaders in your communities and in your industry,” he said. “Make sure when you go to all these seminars, make sure you build a network and get to know the people you visit.”
Cooperation. Commitment. Grassroots leadership. These shared values unite First South Farm Credit and the Mississippi State University Extension Service in their shared mission to serve Mississippi’s agricultural community. So when the opportunity arose to support the fledgling Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program (TCALP), First South CEO and MSU agricultural economics graduate John Barnard (Class of 1981) jumped at the chance.