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Illinois Farm Bureau project helps train ag spokespeople
By BONA BRADBURY
Illinois Correspondent

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) believes producers throughout Illinois and the United States need trained and well-educated individuals capable of representing the industry. Training potential agriculture spokespeople, though, has been a problem.

The IFB’s Agricultural Leaders of Tomorrow (ALOT) program offers selected members an opportunity to undergo an extensive leadership project designed to prepare emerging industry leaders in order that they can better represent the agricultural population to their communities, the media and to legislators.

On March 22, the IFB recognized the 2006 ALOT class for successfully completing a comprehensive agricultural leadership-training program. Twenty graduates from across Northern Illinois underwent more than 80 hours of training - concentrating on the areas of communication skills, the political process, agricultural economics and global issues.

ALOT graduates not only participated in leadership seminars and activities during the three-month program, but they also discussed farm issues with Illinois State Sen. Brad Burzynski (R-DeKalb County).

The ALOT program is open to IFB members of all ages. Both production and non-production agriculturalists are encouraged to apply for the program; however, participation is limited to 25 individuals.

Candidates are selected by the ALOT Advisory Committee based on demonstrated farm experience, and the candidate’s potential for enhanced leadership growth and development. The program rotates between different areas of the state in order that participants have better access to the meetings and training seminars.

Those interested in future ALOT programs should contact a county Farm Bureau manager for more information and the corresponding deadlines.

ALOT sponsors include the IFB Board of Directors, Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc., COUNTRY Insurance and Financial Services, GROWMARK, Inc., Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Illinois Corn Growers Assoc., Illinois Soybean Program Operating Board, FS member cooperatives and county Farm Bureaus.

This farm news was published in the April 26, 2006 issue of Farm World.

4/26/2006