Ag Leadership Program

What To Expect

California Agricultural Leadership Program

Ag Leadership fellows can expect to gain important skills and awareness to enhance their leadership capabilities and effectiveness. With a strong skill set and strategic focus, they will be better prepared to assess and deal with the complex challenges affecting their business, agricultural associations, community, family and government.

During the 17-month program, ongoing interaction with core faculty and peers shapes the individual experience and intentionally introduces fellows to some unfamiliar, and at times uncomfortable, situations. As a result, fellows develop a close camaraderie, learn to approach issues with an open and critical mind, and enhance their ability to listen and to learn from others and their environments.

Seminars/Partner Universities

The Ag Leadership Program is based on a more than 40-year alliance with four California universities: California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; California State University, Fresno; and the University of California, Davis. Monthly seminars rotate between these four partner universities.

With a different program focus at each university, the seminars provide an integrated and comprehensive curriculum. Fellows are presented timely and relevant subject matter from skilled educators, subject matter experts, and leaders from organizations and businesses.

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Focus: Team building, communication skills and personal assessment

Fellows will:

  • Experience team building exercises that provide opportunities to challenge themselves and each other, while also learning about key elements of how to work in teams.
  • Receive practical training in communications – delivering different types of speeches, serving as a presiding fellow, and facilitating meetings. Feedback from coaches and fellows strengthens the experience.
  • Develop an understanding of their own preferential behavior types that shape how a person interacts with others.
  • Learn about motivational theory and how it can be used to influence the performance of individuals and teams.
  • Learn the importance of listening as a tool to enhance communication.
  • Through experiential exercises, learn how to communicate with others who don’t think or believe the same way.
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Focus: Sociology, culture, history and religion

Fellows will:

  • Explore social and cultural issues, particularly those relating to urban, minority and marginalized populations.
  • Learn about challenges facing families with disabled children and interact with the children through hands-on activities.
  • Develop improved professional etiquette skills via real-world examples and demonstrations.
  • Gain an understanding of the significance of art and music in different cultures.
  • Use self-assessment and goal-setting as a means to understand and shape their own leadership development.
  • Study tolerance, prejudice and privilege through readings, speakers and visits to museums and other appropriate venues.
  • Learn more about cross-cultural communication and behavior through seminars and simulation.
  • Engage in experiential learning about different religions and cultures.
California State University, Fresno

Focus: Criminology and national politics

Fellows will:

  • Develop enhanced critical thinking skills while examining the issues of criminology and the death penalty, and drilling in on the deeper issues of sociology, neuroscience and early childhood development.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the founding principles of the United States through seminars that focus on leadership examples associated with the struggles of the Revolutionary War, Constitutional Convention and Civil War.
University of California, Davis

Focus: Economics, state government, health and fitness

Fellows will:

  • Learn how to better engage in the political process by developing a more thorough understanding of the state legislative process.
  • Continue the study of personality types and how to use that information to build the relationships that are important within businesses and organizations.
  • Explore the value of servant leadership via up-close examination of Sacramento-area service programs.
  • Critically analyze aspects of other countries – including but not limited to economics, trade, quality of life and effectiveness of alternate forms of government.
  • Participate in sessions to promote health and well-being, focusing on nutrition, disease and stress.
  • Examine the challenges of balancing social, economic and environmental issues when dealing with limited resources such as water and land.