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Exchange Programs

Washington, D.C. Educational Exchange Program (D.C. Exchange)
Established in 1982, the D.C. Exchange connects government and agriculture, which allows for experiential learning, open dialogue and the free exchange of ideas within a leadership educational program. The exchange program locations rotate, visiting all 11 alumni regions over four years. The program is typically held in the late summer to early winter months.

More than 600 individuals have participated in this one-week educational program. Participants take part in issues-based activities and hands-on agricultural experiences. One-on-one connections, small group discussions, expert panels and site visits enhance participant knowledge of priority topics, such as water quantity and quality, crop protection, environmental issues, food safety and security, labor and immigration, trade imports/exports, animal welfare husbandry and rural-urban interface. The program provides a valuable personal view of agriculture by hosting farm families.

As a program component, enhanced leadership training is facilitated by a California Agricultural Leadership Program partner university faculty member. Participants read “The Outward Mindset, How to Change Lives and Transform Organizations” (The Arbinger Institute) and participate in an interactive workshop.


California Educational Exchange Program (CA Exchange)
The CA Exchange facilitates growth through an educational program – including expeditions to California farms and ranches – designed to deepen understanding of food production and ecosystems. Participants are introduced to leadership topics through classroom and experiential learning. CA Exchange brings together representatives from California regulatory organizations, nonprofits that work with agriculture and California agriculturalists. Participants enhance their personal development and leadership skills in an effort to benefit California's long-term, multi-benefit public policy solutions.

The program is up to a four-day, three-night commitment, including travel to selected regions throughout California. Participants engage in various "core cluster modules” with leadership and issues-based activities and educational modules focused on a significant theme relevant to current issues facing California and the agricultural industry. The program rotates to various locations in California to introduce a representative cross-section of agricultural production systems and topics.


California County Educational Exchange Program (CO Exchange)
Pilot Program 2023
The CO Exchange aims to facilitate education around communication, team development and leadership skills among those who specialize in community engagement on the county and regional level. Counties, as geographical and political subdivisions of the state, manage public functions closest to the people.

Participants include local municipal, regional and community influencers and California Agricultural Leadership Program alumni. Participants will develop a case study of understanding a complex issue through facilitation within the program, which we call a “vignette.” Drawing on local knowledge from a diverse group will create practical and effective communication and relationship development that participants will be able to use to cultivate solutions in a county and region after the program concludes. Participants meet one day per month over three months, including preparatory work.