Ag Leadership Program

California Agricultural Leadership Program: FAQ

What are the requirements to participate in the program?
What is the application and selection process?
Is there an application fee?
How much time do fellows need to commit?
Is there a tuition or cost for participating in the program?
What are the fellows expected to pay for?
What do employers pay for?
Have there been recent changes to the program?
What is the return on investment for employers?
What is the return on investment for fellows?

What are the requirements to participate in the program?

  • Reside in California for at least one year, with the expectation to remain in California. Earn a living primarily from a career in or closely related to agriculture.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to remain in an agricultural profession in California during the 17-month program.
  • Obtain written consent from employer (if applicable) to take off the required time.
  • If self-employed, must be able to leave business for the required time.
  • A spouse of a program graduate is eligible provided the applicant can demonstrate that his/her sphere of influence and activity is distinctly different from that of the earlier participating spouse.

What is the application and selection process?

  • Applications are typically available beginning in January. The application process has three selective phases:
    1. The first phase is a brief written application to determine a candidate’s eligibility for the program.
    2. The second phase requires a more detailed written application from a candidate.
    3. The final phase is a face-to-face interview with a screening committee.
  • In addition to applications, four letters of recommendation and other consent forms are required.
  • Face-to-face interviews of qualified applicants with regional screening committees are held in July.
  • Applicants are notified of the selection outcome in early September.

Is there an application fee?

  • There is no fee for applying to the program.

How much time do fellows need to commit?

  • Fellows must commit to approximately 55 seminar days over a 17-month period. Attendance at all seminars is mandatory.
    YEAR ONE
    – October to May.
    – Eight seminars, including the national travel seminar. -Campus seminars are typically 21⁄2 – 3 days each. The
    national travel seminar in early March is 10 days.
    – A one-day mid-program coaching interview in the summer.
    YEAR TWO
    – October to February.
    – Four seminars, including the international travel seminar. -Campus seminars are typically 21⁄2 – 3 days each. The
    international travel seminar in early November is 15 days.
  • Fellows will have additional travel time to and from each seminar location, which may amount to several extra days depending on where a fellow lives.
  • Fellows are expected to devote extra time to the individualized coaching process and to group and individual projects outside of the seminars.
  • Reading: One assigned book is to be read prior to each seminar in year one.
  • Fellows are expected to assume leadership responsibilities immediately, participate in post-graduate leadership activities and contribute to the sustainability of CALP.

Is there a tuition or cost for participating in the program?

  • Donations from individuals, businesses, organizations and fundraising events allow the foundation to fund the approximately $55,000 cost for each participant.

What are the fellows expected to pay for?

  • $750 fee to offset costs of materials.
  • Incidental expenses.
  • Miscellaneous expenses (tips, gifts, donations, personal items, etc.). Transportation to and from in-state seminars.
  • Transportation to and from departure airports for national and
  • international travel seminars.

What do employers pay for?

  • Employer costs vary depending on how they support their employee during the program (e.g., employee time off and other expenses).

Have there been recent changes to the program?

  • There was a need to enhance the program based on the contemporary context of changing industry structures, new technologies, the different skill sets and experiences of today’s candidates and a shift in the political realities that agriculture works within. A revised curriculum was adopted in 2012 that features new components (such as coaching), a shorter program schedule and more individual work between seminars.

What is the return on investment for employers?

  • Identify and train leaders for the business or organization. Develop talent to keep companies on the cutting edge of change and growth.
  • Identify and train potential successors.
  • Develop key individuals as colleagues and team leaders.
  • Turn “soloists” into “conductors.”

What is the return on investment for fellows?

  • Develop essential tools to enhance leadership skills and strengths. Through individualized coaching, focus on specific learning activities to enhance ability to motivate and lead.
  • Acquire strong communication skills.
  • Understand the difference between leadership and management. Deal effectively, competently and confidently with complicated issues and challenges that affect California agriculture. Understand, articulate and confront different perspectives on issues or challenges.
  • Respond more proactively to challenges that affect organizations, businesses and communities.
  • Learn to convert a vision into action through effective and appropriate planning, communication and motivation. Strengthen effectiveness in organizing and utilizing teams.