By Chuck Wilson
MEMPHIS, TN -- Members of the 2017/19 Rice Leadership Development Program class were announced last week during the annual Rice Awards Luncheon at the 2016 USA Rice Outlook Conference. The class is comprised of five rice producers and two industry-related professionals selected by a committee of agribusiness leaders.
"The rice industry enjoys strong leadership, and the Rice Leadership Development Program continues to select and develop young leaders to keep that tradition going strong. This program plays a critical role thanks to the intensive training and the high caliber participants," said Rice Foundation Chairman Charley Mathews. Mathews went on to thank everyone who applied to the program and encouraged those not selected this time to apply again to the program next year. In addition to numerous alumni serving on various local, state and national boards and committees, the USA Rice Federation, USA Rice Farmers, USA Rice Council and The Rice Foundation are chaired by Rice Leadership Program alumni.
The new rice-producer class members are Scott Franklin, Monroe, LA; Kim Gallagher, Davis, CA; Alan Lawson, Crowley, LA; David Martin, Bernie, MO; and Ross Thibodeaux, Midland, LA. The new industry-related class members are Brian Greathouse, Sutter, CA with Bunge Milling, Inc., and Dr. Jarrod Hardke, Hazen, AR with University of Arkansas Extension Service.
The Rice Leadership Development Program gives young men and women a comprehensive understanding of the U.S. rice industry, with an emphasis on personal development and communication training. During a two-year period, class members attend four one-week sessions that are designed to strengthen their leadership skills.
You can follow this and other Rice Leadership Classes on Twitter by looking for, and using, #RiceLeads.
John Deere Company, RiceTec, Inc., and American Commodity Company are sponsors of the Rice Leadership Development Program through a grant to The Rice Foundation, and USA Rice manages the program.