Applications Available for California Ag Leadership Program Class 54

January 16, 2024

MONTEREY – Applications are now being accepted for Class 54 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP). Applicants should be mid-career growers, farmers, ranchers, horticulturalists, foresters and/or individuals working in other areas of California’s diverse agriculture industry. 

The Ag Leadership Program, operated by the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF), is considered to be one of the premier leadership development experiences in the United States. Through the program, fellows learn leadership skills that help them expand their impact. More than 1,400 individuals have participated in the program and are influential leaders and active volunteers in agriculture, communities, government, business and other areas. 

Over the course of the intensive 17-month program, fellows are immersed in numerous topics, including leadership theory, effective communication, motivation, critical thinking, change management, emotional intelligence and other skills and tools that contribute to improved performance. Along with individualized leadership development coaching, fellows engage in situations and discussions focused on complex social and cultural issues. They are provided with opportunities to build enhanced critical thinking skills that, combined with a broader perspective, help graduates guide creative solutions throughout their lives. 

“As we open the application process for Class 54, our selection committees are focused on choosing a group of fellows who have the capacity to grow and lead as well as share a commitment to California agriculture,” said CALF President and CEO Dwight Ferguson. “Our experienced-based curriculum, personalized coaching and emphasis on lifelong learning enables the development of leaders who make a difference in their families, communities, companies and ultimately our great industry as a whole.” 

The program includes approximately 55 days of formal program activities. Four partner universities — Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Fresno State and UC Davis — deliver integrated, comprehensive and diverse curriculum at the seminars. Fellows learn from first-rate educators and subject authorities from many professions and backgrounds. As a valuable extension to the monthly seminars, fellows participate in national and international travel seminars that provide further opportunities to understand interconnected systems and governments, dialogue with policy leaders and compare and contrast cultural dynamics. 

CALF invests more than $50,000 per fellow to participate in the Ag Leadership Program, thanks in large part to donations made by individuals and industry organizations and companies. Candidates are strongly encouraged to talk with Ag Leadership alumni about the program and to attend an informational event. 

More information and the application are available at Phase one of the three-phrase application process is due no later than April 17, 2024. Individuals are encouraged to complete the application as soon as possible. 


CALF Programs Manager Judy Sparacino / or 831-585-1030