52nd Class Selected for California Agricultural Leadership Program

MONTEREY – Twenty-four individuals have been selected for Class 52 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program, an advanced leadership development experience for emerging agricultural leaders. The new fellows will be inaugurated into the program on Oct. 6 at the DoubleTree Fresno Convention Center.

Through dynamic seminars during an intensive 17-month program, fellows will study leadership theory, effective communication, motivation, critical and strategic thinking, change management, emotional intelligence and complex social and cultural issues. Seminars are delivered by four partner universities: Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Fresno State and UC Davis. Fellows will participate in approximately 55 seminar days, including a 10-day national travel seminar and a 14-day international travel seminar.

“The California Ag Leadership Foundation (CALF) grows leaders who make a difference and go on to make a positive impact in agriculture, their businesses, communities and families,” said CALF President and CEO Dwight Ferguson. “We assemble a diverse and inclusive class of fellows who represent a broad cross section of the California ag industry and the state’s population.”

CALF invests more than $50,000 per fellow to participate in the program, which is underwritten by individual and industry donations. Ag Leadership is considered to be one of the premier leadership programs in the United States. Since it was first delivered in 1970, more than 1,300 agriculturalists have participated in the program and have become influential leaders and active volunteers in agriculture and other areas.

Class 52 Fellows:

  • Michelle Allen-Ziegler, Pactiv Evergreen LLC, San Clemente
  • Cornelio Blanco, Rio Farms LLC, Oxnard
  • Jeff Borum, East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District, Modesto
  • Grant Cremers, Delicato Family Vineyards, Salinas
  • Kasey DeAtley, California State University, Chico, Chico
  • Seth Fiack, Fiack Family Farms, Glenn
  • Andrew Genasci, California Farm Bureau, Oakdale
  • Amanda Gorter, O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, Paso Robles
  • Christopher Greer, Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer, Visalia
  • Jeff Iniguez, Wonderful Orchards, Bakersfield
  • Mallvinder Kahal, Atlas Almonds, Madera
  • Anna Nakamura Knight, Old Grove Orange, Redlands
  • Arima Kozina, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento
  • Sean Landberg, Gallo Vineyards Inc., Turlock
  • Jeannette McClure, Rabo AgriFinance, Paso Robles
  • Chris McGlothlin, California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association / Western Agricultural Processors Association, Fresno
  • Anne Megaro, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, Davis
  • Diana Melero, California Farmworker Foundation, Fresno
  • Danny Murillo, Agriland Farming Company, Madera
  • David Ogilvie, Wilson Farms and Ogilvie Merwin Vintners, Clarksburg
  • Reid Robinson, Sierra Gold Nurseries, Davis
  • Jacylyn Stokes, Stokes Vineyards, Lodi
  • Katey Taylor, Constellation Brands, Napa
  • John Wiersma, San Luis Canal Co., Turlock

California Agricultural Leadership Foundation Announces Brand Refresh

“Ag Leadership prepares, inspires, serves and connects effective leaders with a committed passion for California agriculture,” CALF President and CEO Dwight Ferguson said. “We believe our brand refresh strongly reflects our mission of ‘Growing leaders who make a difference,’ along with our values of integrity, excellence and respect.”

The new logo preserves some key elements of the foundation’s two previous logos, such as the diamond shape and agricultural imagery. It also features new elements – color palette and fonts, outlined diamond, extended row, and nickname and formal name – that give it a fresh, bold and modern look.

With the brand refresh, the foundation aims to raise the profile of its distinguished Ag Leadership Program, enhance alumni pride and engagement, inspire potential candidates to apply, engage and inspire sponsors and donors to invest, and increase media coverage.

“We are proud to have a new brand identity that underscores the long-standing reputation of Ag Leadership – dignified, enduring, respected, scholarly, exceptional, leading edge and trustworthy,” CALF Marketing and Communications Coordinator Meredith Ritchie said. “Same powerful program and alumni network with a powerful refreshed brand.”

Foundation materials and digital platforms, including a redesigned website, will be updated in the coming weeks and months.

Facebook post with new logo

 

Contact:

Meredith Rehrman Ritchie, CALF Marketing and Communications Coordinator
mritchie@agleaders.org / 916-708-3364

 

51st Class Selected for California Agricultural Leadership Program

Through dynamic seminars during an intensive 17-month program, fellows will study leadership theory, effective communication, motivation, critical and strategic thinking, change management, emotional intelligence and complex social and cultural issues. Seminars are delivered by four partner universities: Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Fresno State and UC Davis. Fellows will participate in approximately 55 seminar days, including a 10-day national travel seminar and a 14-day international travel seminar.

“The California Ag Leadership Foundation (CALF) grows leaders who make a difference and go on to lead in agriculture, their businesses, communities and families,” said CALF President and CEO Dwight Ferguson. “We recruit a diverse and inclusive set of fellows who represent a broad cross section of the California ag industry and the state’s population.”

CALF invests more than $50,000 per fellow to participate in the program, which is underwritten by individual and industry donations. Ag Leadership is considered to be one of the premier leadership programs in the United States. Since it was first delivered in 1970, more than 1,300 men and women have participated in the program and have become influential leaders and active volunteers in agriculture and other areas.

Class 51 Fellows:

Scott Berndt, RUSD Food Hub

Jake Cecil, Sunsweet Growers Inc.

Nick Escobar, G3 Enterprises

John Gardiner, Gardiner Farms

Matan Goldberg, Agriculture Capital

Tom Gore, Constellation Brands

Mylène Hermier, Duckhorn Portfolio

Carrie Isaacson, Broadhead

Betsy Karle, University of California Cooperative Extension

Miguel Lizarraga, Naraghi Farms

Victor Lopez, Yara North America

Ahna Miller, Driscoll’s

Kel Mitchel, Renewable Resources Group

Charlotte Mitchell, California Farmland Trust

J. Scott Petersen, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority

Jessica Saltzman, Farm Credit West

Kevin Souza, Harris Woolf Almonds

Ryan Stapleton, Delicato Family Vineyards

Donglan Tian, Bayer

Marlene Velasquez, Rumiano Cheese

Darcy Vlot, Vlot Calf Ranch Inc., Cross Creek Farms

Will Weiss, Bella Vista Farming Company

Debbie Willmann, Index Fresh

Jarett Zonneveld, Alta California

Promotions & New Roles Announced to Support Strategic Plan

Judy Sparacino has been promoted to programs manager. Judy joined the foundation in 2007 as program coordinator, and has been a valued and critical team member supporting the fellowship program. In her expanded role, she will continue to support the fellowship program and take on new responsibilities associated with the fellow selection process and supporting the domestic and international seminars, as well as serving as the foundation’s archivist. Judy will also take on more duties related to our efforts to sustain and expand the D.C. and CA Exchange programs, working with our exchange programs consultant.

Deanna van Klaveren (32) has been promoted to alumni engagement manager. Deanna joined the foundation in 2019 as a part-time alumni coordinator, following many years of service on the Alumni Council (AC) and as a member of the board of directors. Her support of the AC and alumni over the past two years has been critical to engaging our more than 1,300 alumni. Deanna’s new full-time role will provide expanded service and opportunities for growth and connection to our alumni, as envisioned in the strategic plan.

Emily Lazzerini has moved into the new role of development coordinator. Emily joined the foundation in 2010 as enterprise coordinator and has been responsible for maintaining all donor files and records, amongst other duties. Emily’s expertise related to our donors and endowment funds has served an essential need as our foundation’s investment accounts have grown over the last decade. Her new role will focus critical support on the foundation’s expanding development program.

Darlene Din (35) has joined the team as exchange programs consultant, providing guidance and assistance to the staff and exchange programs committees, following many years of volunteer and contractor support to the foundation. She will also support staff and the Ed Team related to the domestic and international seminars, organize exchange activities and develop and propose exchange program expansion options in 2022, consistent with the strategic plan.

These new and expanded roles are critical to the foundation’s ability to meet our goals related to our strategic plan’s critical priorities, living our mission of “Growing leaders who make a difference,” embodying our values of integrity, excellence and respect and achieving our vision to become “Leaders united to strengthen California agriculture and sustainably supply the world.” We look forward to keeping you informed of our progress.

Feel free to contact Dwight Ferguson at dferguson@agleaders.org or (831) 585-1030 with any questions about these changes.

Ag Leadership Foundation Gets New Monterey Office Location

New Address: 80 Garden Court, Suite 270 / Monterey, CA 93940

In order to help us realize strategic priorities, improve access, teamwork and effectiveness and be more accessible to our alumni and stakeholders, we have moved our foundation office to Monterey. The change will give us more space to collaborate, the ability to host meetings and will also include a place for visiting alumni to work. The new workspace will allow us to continue to meet the needs of the program, the foundation and our alumni as we begin work on the goals identified in our strategic plan, while ensuring that our fellows experience an exceptional program. If you are in the area, we welcome you to stop by for a visit!

 

 

CALF Announces Interim Co-Directors of Education

With more than 50 years combined engagement on the Education Team, Perry and Flores bring substantial experience, program awareness and mentoring skills to the positions. Their new roles will begin on May 1, 2021 to coincide with the departure of current Director of Education Shelli Hendricks. Perry will also continue her role as coach to all program fellows.

During this interim period, which is expected to last until February 28, 2023 to coincide with the commencement of Class 51, Executive Vice President Abby Taylor-Silva (45) and Program Coordinator Judy Sparacino will also take on additional roles. Predominately, Abby will oversee development of the national and international seminars, with the guidance and support of the Education Team, and Judy will build upon her current role related to selection and program support. As part of their roles, Perry and Flores will eventually help to guide the selection of a new director of education.

CALF President and CEO Dwight Ferguson expressed his gratitude and excitement to Perry and Flores.

“We are very fortunate to have Peggy and Bob join our team in these new roles during such a critical and transformative time for the foundation,” said Dwight. “We are on the cusp of finalizing a strategic plan that will help sustain our fellowship program well into the future, so we may continue to grow leaders who make a difference. Peggy and Bob have the unique skill sets needed to ensure our program, the most critical component of the foundation, is nurtured and given what it needs to achieve excellence.”

Perry is a professor emeritus at Cal Poly Pomona, and has spent her career teaching in the fields of plant science and leadership. Her teaching specialties have included California native plant materials, culinary produce, women in agriculture, leadership development and various issues related to agricultural literacy. Her research has focused on faculty vitality and institutional leadership and adult development. Perry was a member of Class 9 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP), and has been a member of the Education Team since 1986. She has also led the coaching element of the program for the past 10 years.

Flores recently retired from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo after a 37-year career in higher education. He joined Cal Poly in 1983 after teaching high school for five years. At Cal Poly, he served as a department head and professor in the Agricultural Education and Communication Department. Flores has been a member of CALP’s Education Team for almost 25 years and served as director of education from 1997 to 2000. He has also served as a presenter on the topics of preferential behavior, learning styles and values programming. In retirement, Flores continues in his role as a member of the Education Team. Additionally, he is a member of the Medical Service Corp for the County of San Luis Obispo and a co-advisor to the Latinos in Agriculture student organization at Cal Poly.