MONTEREY, Sept. 16, 2021 – Twenty-four individuals have been selected for Class 51 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. 14 at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District.
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