MSGA seeking applicants for 40th class of ASA Corteva’s Young Leader Program

If you are passionate about farming and ready to hone your leadership skills and connect with industry leaders committed to creating a better future for farmers, the ASA Corteva Agriscience Young Leader Program is for you!

Program owners American Soybean Association and Corteva Agriscience are seeking farmers to apply for the 40th class of ASA Corteva Young Leaders! Phase I of the 2023-24 Young Leader program will take place Nov. 27-30 at Corteva’s Global Business Center in Johnston, Iowa. The program continues Feb. 27-March 1, 2024, in Houston in conjunction with the annual Commodity Classic Convention and Trade Show.

“For 40 years the Young Leader program has helped identify and train soybean farmers to be leaders in the industry,” said Illinois soybean grower and ASA President Daryl Cates. “The program has had a tremendous impact on soybean advocacy, and you’ll find graduates of the program in various positions throughout the industry. Three members of the current ASA Executive Committee are graduates of the program.”

Soybean growers, both individuals and couples, are encouraged to apply for the program, which focuses on leadership and communication, agriculture trends and information, and the development of a strong and connected network. Not “young?” You can still apply: Actual age isn’t important! Interested partners, even if not employed full time on the farm, are encouraged to attend and will be active participants in all aspects of the program.

Adam Guetter (second to left) and his wife, Melanie Guetter are 2018 graduates of the Young Leader Program. Adam now represents Minnesota on the American Soybean Association.

“Each time I talk to Young Leaders, I consistently hear across the board how the program is unlike any they’ve ever participated in,” Cates said. “Participants learn skills that help them in both their operation and organizational work. Equally important, Young Leaders make connections with industry leaders and other farmers who are driven, tech savvy, and want to make a better future. We are grateful to Corteva for continually supporting this program for 40 years. It’s impressive and it’s important.”

Minnesota has a long history of supporting the Young Leader Program. Most recently, Waseca County farmer Gary Schoenfeld and his wife, Tina, participated in the program in the 2022-23 class. The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council directs checkoff resources toward sponsoring the Young Leader Program.

“It was a really good experience,” said Ryan Mackenthun, 2019-20 Young Leader graduate and current treasurer of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association . “We all became more engaged and grew our leadership skills. Meeting the other Young Leaders was fun, too.”

ASA and Corteva Agriscience will work with the 26 state affiliates and the Grain Farmers of Ontario to identify the top producers to represent their states as part of this program.

“America’s farmers provide the strongest voice not only for agriculture, but also for rural America. Over the past four decades, we have seen Young Leader farmer-alumni successfully make their voices heard as governments, society and other stakeholders shape policies and programs that support agriculture and rural communities,” said Matt Rekeweg, U.S. Industry Affairs Leader, Corteva Agriscience. “We are proud to continue our support of the ASA Corteva Agriscience Young Leader Program, which continues developing the next generation of grower leaders and advocates for agriculture.”

Applications are being accepted online now. Interested applicants should click here for additional information and to apply.

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