SALINAS, Sept. 4, 2018 – Twenty-four individuals have been selected for Class 49 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. 11 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 55 seminar days, including an eight-day national travel seminar and a 15-day international travel seminar.

“These 24 outstanding individuals, evenly split between men and women, come from all areas of the state and represent many diverse sectors of production,” said Barry Bedwell, president of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF). “What they have in common is a fervent desire to improve themselves as leaders who can further benefit California agriculture. We are excited to assist them in that journey.”

CALF invests approximately $55,000 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 the agriculture industry and other areas.

Class 49 Fellows:

Brean Bettencourt, Bella Viva Orchards, Turlock

Adam Borchard, Association of California Water Agencies, Sacramento

Luis Calderon, Reiter Affiliated Companies, Oxnard

John Dmytriw, Index Fresh, Riverside

Steven Dodge, Acuity Agriculture, San Francisco

Miranda Driver, CalAgJobs, Woodland

Lesa Eidman, Superior Farms, Sacramento

Kate Elmore, Vail Ranches LLC, Brawley

James Ewart, Delicato Family Vineyards, King City

Brittany Fagundes, California Olive Ranch, Gridley

Steven Filter, Filter Farms Inc., Live Oak

Cherie France, Homegrown Organic Farms, Visalia

Daniel Hartwig, Woolf Enterprises, Fresno

Alyssa Houtby, California Citrus Mutual, Visalia

Betty Lindeman, Stevinson Water District, Los Banos

Melissa Macfarlane, Driscoll’s Nursery, Red Bluff

Adam Martinez, Driscoll’s, Watsonville

Daryn Miller, Monterey Pacific Inc., Templeton

Sara Neagu-Reed, California Farm Bureau Federation, Sacramento

Laura Pires, Cargill Animal Nutrition, Tulare

Jared Plumlee, Booth Ranches LLC, Orange Cove

Taylor Serres, Serres Ranch, Sonoma

Mark Unruh, J.G. Boswell Company, Corcoran

Jake Wenger, Wenger Ranch Inc., Modesto