Congratulations to Newly Minted Ag Leaders in the Great Lakes State

MI Ag CORE graduates inaugural class!

Lansing, Mich. (Dec. 18, 2022) – Take 16 Michiganians wanting to learn more and hone their personal skills in Communication, Organization, Relationships and Engagement + add 1 year of focused sessions + a final presentation = and what do you get?  The first-ever group of emerging Michigan leaders graduating from the MI Ag CORE Leadership Program.

The MI Ag CORE leadership program was developed by Kelly Turner, executive director of the Michigan Potato Industry Commission; Jody Pollok-Newsom, executive director of the Michigan Wheat Program; and Janna Fritz, then-executive director of the Michigan Soybean Committee. The idea for MI Ag CORE came from the lessons learned by three women working in the agricultural “trenches” on a day-to-day basis.

“I saw that agriculture was missing a well-rounded program for those looking to move directly into management or those who were heading in that direction,” said Turner. “The MI Ag CORE came together as a collection of skills that the three of us thought would have been beneficial to us, as we grew into our positions.”

The inaugural cohort of 16 ag professionals began in January 2022 with a two-part “DISC” talent/skill assessment. They applied that knowledge throughout the year as they also did work in the areas of communications, human resources, and governance. The 7-session program – part in-person and part online – wrapped up in November with in-person presentations.

“I was so pleased with the group, and to see their evolution over the past year,” added Pollok-Newsom. “I look forward to watching them grow in the future and see where their careers take them.  Agriculture needs continual infusions of fresh talent and a fresh view. This program allows for that while cohorts are building friendships that will last.”

Those graduating from the program include:

Scott Bales, Hailey (Andres) Gilbert, Andrew Greenhoe, Lauren Jacobi (Heberling), Allison Morse, James Nichol, Ryan Norton, Elaine Palm, Nicholas Parr, Julie Robinson, Seth Robinson, Brian Santrucek, Carla Schultz, Jacob Smith, Nicholas Stone, and Ryan Walther.

MI Ag CORE’s second year kicks off in January 2023.  All attendee spots and sponsorship opportunities have been filled for the 2023 year.

The three program developers thank the sponsors for their financial support during MI Ag CORE’s launch year. Those financially supporting the program were: Lincoln Financial Agribusiness, Michigan Allied Poultry, and Vive Crop Protection.

The MI Ag CORE program was developed with financial and resources support from the Michigan Potato Industry Commission, the Michigan Soybean Committee and the Michigan Wheat Program. Each of these organizations are nonprofit grower-funded commodity check-off organizations with a strong interest in an even better future for Michigan agriculture.