MSU ag leadership program welcomes second class
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A new group of 12 Mississippi agricultural professionals has been selected for the second class of the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service, in partnership with the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, established the two-year, nine-seminar program to help emerging leaders in the state’s agricultural industry develop leadership skills and policy knowledge while visiting agricultural systems in Mississippi and abroad. They will also visit legislators in Jackson and Washington, D.C.
The second class includes Tyler Anderson of Starkville, vice president of branch lending for Mississippi Land Bank; David and Rebekkah Arant of Minter City, owners of Arant Acres and Delta Blues Rice; Rob Baker of Leland, partner of Bourbon Plantation; Hillary Ball of Oxford, seed specialist for Helena Ag; Joseph Erickson of Madison, crop insurance agent with Diversified Services Agency; Jared Freeman of Forest, pullet manager with Koch Foods; Alex Holtcamp of Crawford, farm manager of Holtcamp Farms; Matthew and Kayla Poe of Pontotoc, owners of Poe Farms; Amanda Stone of Starkville, MSU Extension dairy specialist; and Cala Tabb of Eupora, co-owner of Old Walthall Farms.
The first Cochran leadership class finished its sessions with a trip to Germany in July.
“The first class spent the past two years improving their leadership and communication skills, increasing their knowledge of agricultural enterprises and issues and networking with leaders in government and industry,” said Michael Newman, director of the leadership program and the MSU School of Human Sciences. “They were a great inaugural class -- one we hope to build on going forward.”
Newman said the new class members represent Mississippi’s diverse agricultural sectors, geography and commodities.
“I am extremely excited about their potential as leaders,” he said. “Agriculture is the backbone of our nation’s economy and local communities. We need strong leadership to ensure it continues. I’m sure the second class will be up to the task.”