Hannah Ferguson

Feb 15, 2016  |  Today's News


The 2016 class of the NCGA DuPont New Leaders Program, now entering its third year of helping farming couples and individuals become better communicators, leaders and advocates for agriculture, kicked this week in Des Moines, Iowa.

“We’re pleased to see this important program continue for a third year with DuPont’s generous support,” said Chip Bowling, NCGA president and a corn grower from Maryland. “NCGA has always believed that farmers themselves are the best leaders and spokespersons for agriculture, and this program is designed in particular for those just getting started in visible roles in the ag industry.”

“It was a privilege to meet this year’s distinguished class of DuPont New Leaders.  There are many challenges and opportunities facing American agriculture, so I am pleased that we are investing in the next generation of leaders,” said Jeff Nawn, DuPont Pioneer Global Grain Trade Lead.  “We look forward to watching them continue to develop their leadership skills and become stronger advocates for our industry.”

This year, 27 participants representing 16 states are involved in the program. Participating this year are:  Sam Spruell, Alabama; Roger Smith, Arkansas; Jonathan and Bridget Hitchcock, Georgia; Matthew DeSutter, Illinois; Casey Schlichting, Iowa; Corey Pace, Kentucky; Sam and Stephanie Halcomb, Kentucky; Greg Dell, Maryland; Ben Storm, Michigan; Brent Krohn, Michigan; Bryce Krohn, Michigan; Brian and Lynn Martin, Missouri; Joel McAfee, Nebraska; Deb Gangwish, Nebraska; Philip and Lindsay Sloop, North Carolina; Ben Bakko, North Dakota; Tyler and Whitni Drewes, Ohio; Rob Holman, Tennessee; Bert and Brittney Ring, Texas; Robert Baylor, Virginia; and R. Trent Jones, Virginia.

The New Leaders Program is implemented in three phases, with two plenary sessions: in Iowa this week and Washington in mid-July. At these sessions, participants will gain knowledge of communications and leadership skills and many of the top issues confronting American corn growers. They also will have the opportunity to see leaders in action in our nation’s capital and visit with their lawmakers. Between these two sessions, participants will be involved in national- and state-level programs supporting American agriculture.