Deadline for 2019 Rice Leadership Development Program Approaches

Group standing in a rice field, listening to farmer, everyone wearing sunglasses
Leadership lessons from Leo LaGrande
Sep 25, 2018
MOUNTAIN HOME, TX – The deadline for applications to the 2019 Rice Leadership Development Program are due October 5.  Rice producers or industry-related professionals between the ages of 25 and 45 are eligible to apply.

The Rice Leadership Development Program provides a comprehensive understanding of the rice industry, with an emphasis on personal development and communication skills.  During a two-year period, class members attend four one-week sessions designed to strengthen leadership skills through studies of all aspects of the rice industry.

Of the Leadership Program, recent grad Sunny Bottoms, of Horizon Ag, said, “This has truly been a wonderful experience.  Not only do I have a much better understanding of our industry as a whole, but I have made lifelong friends in the process.”

“There will always be growers that just farm rice and that is the extent of their contributions to the industry,” said Hudgens Jeter, an Arkansas rice farmer who graduated from the program in 2017.  “[The Leadership Program] experience has opened my eyes to the fact that, for me at least, this is not going to be enough.  There is far more than just growing rice that can drive the rice industry forward, and I need to be involved in any way that I can.”

The class is comprised of five rice producers and two industry-related professionals chosen by a committee of rice industry leaders.  The committee evaluates the applications of all candidates, reviews letters of recommendation, and conducts personal interviews with the finalists. Interviews will be conducted at the USA Rice Outlook Conference in San Diego, California, in December.
The program is sponsored by John Deere Company, RiceTec, Inc., and American Commodity Company through The Rice Foundation and managed by USA Rice.
Additional information on the Rice Leadership Development Program and an application form can be found on the USA Rice website.