What is Agriculture Leadership Development?

Agriculture leadership development programs  give students, farmers, ranchers, and others the practical skills required to succeed in business, participate in policy implementation, and improve farm industry best practices. For farmers who are already working in the industry but require additional skills, knowledge and credentials to take the next professional step, and for young learners beginning on their path to agricultural careers, agriculture leadership development programs are an invaluable step in the preparation process.

Why is agriculture leadership development valuable?

According to a study in the Journal of Agricultural Education, like most working Americans, farmers and agriculture professionals cite the ability to earn a good wage as a primary career concern. Agriculture leadership development programs are helping to address that concern. Agriculture leadership development helps to arm students with increasingly valuable 21st Century skills including communication skills, the ability to collaborate across teams, and the capacity to create thoughtful solutions for complex problems. These skills, in turn, help to better prepare the next generation of agricultural leaders to fill a wide range of leadership roles in a number of well-paying economic sectors (11).

Learn more about the goals of Agriculture Leadership Development Grants, and their impact on the broader agricultural education landscape.

Who should pursue agriculture leadership development?

Agricultural leadership development programs  are inherently multidisciplinary in nature, providing students with an agricultural education curriculum alongside instruction in critical leadership skills. Agriculture leadership development programs build skills that students can apply to leadership positions in national organizations, non-profit groups, and corporate enterprises, as well as local, state, and regional agencies. These programs are valuable to young learners interested in exploring careers in agriculture, to secondary and post-secondary students seeking career-readiness training in agriculture, and for working farmers and other agricultural professionals seeking career advancement opportunities.

For a look at some of the organizations that have excelled in offering innovative agriculture leadership development programs, check out the Northeast Agriculture Education Foundation’s noteworthy past grantees.

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Learn about the Northeast Agricultural Education Foundation Leadership Development Grants available.



11. Lori L. Moore; Summer F. Odom; and Kari T. Moore. (2013). What a Degree in Agricultural Leadership Really Means: Exploring Student Conceptualizations. Journal of Agricultural Education, Vol. 54, No. 4. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1122400.pdf