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LeadAR Leadership Program Now Accepting Applications

LeadAR, a leadership program at the University of Arkansas School of Systems Agriculture, is accepting applications for Class 20 members. Economic and social issues affecting the state. (Faculty of Agriculture photo, 2018)

LITTLE ROCK — LeadAR, a leadership program at the University of Arkansas School of Systems Agriculture, is accepting applications for leaders in the following classes. For Arkansasans passionate about the future of their community, LeadAR provides an in-depth learning experience covering key economic and social issues affecting the state.

The 18-month LeadAR program, run by the Agricultural Sector Joint Extension Service, includes two days in different parts of the state on topics such as infrastructure and public health, natural resources, public policy and media, community and economic development. Includes seminars. Row crop farming, and livestock, poultry and local food farming. Our monthly virtual seminars will also cover topics such as ethical leadership, communication and storytelling, diversity, equity, belonging and inclusion.

“Through the LeadAR program, participants gain hands-on experience in skill development and gain a better understanding of local issues,” said Julie Robinson, Extension Associate Professor in Agriculture and Director of LeadAR. increase. “Attendees will be able to see the impact of policies at the local, state and national level and better understand the legislative process.

“Participants can be expected to improve their leadership skills and take advantage of research-based tools to lead more effectively,” she said. “Attendants will be able to better understand Arkansas’ communities and industries.”

Founded in 1984, LeadAR was originally modeled after the WK Kellogg Foundation leadership training program. Today, LeadAR has over 500 alumni working as leaders in communities throughout Arkansas, especially in rural and agricultural areas.

Applicants must be 25 years old by the date of the first seminar and be a resident of Arkansas. Up to 30 participants will be selected for the next class, with a target of 50% rural participants, 25% urban participants, and 25% agricultural participants. The application deadline is February 24, 2023 and applications can be found at The LeadAR Advisory Board said he will be interviewed March 6-17 and all applicants will be notified of their Class 20 selection by March 31, 2023.

Robinson said that “Arkansas people interested in improving their leadership skills and better understanding the issues facing their communities” can influence change through LeadAR’s research-based curriculum. says it can.

In addition to a mock legislative session at the Arkansas State Capitol, LeadAR Class 20 members will travel to Washington, DC for a week-long tour in September 2023, where they will study policy development, serve government agencies, Meet with non-profit organizations, industry representatives and officials. , and meet with congressional delegations and aides to discuss issues in their communities.

The program will culminate in an international study tour in September 2024. Attendees will learn about political dynamics and the impact of global issues on Arkansas. Since LeadAR was founded in his 1984, class members have visited 34 countries including Portugal, Greece, Bolivia, Canada, Australia, Vietnam, Scotland, Panama, Costa Rica, Brazil and China.

Throughout the course of the program, participants will also undertake leadership service projects focused on bringing about positive change in their communities. Past projects include building a local library, applying for grants to install public park restrooms, and developing an annual goat festival in Perryville, Arkansas.

The LeadAR alumni network includes farmers, bankers, educators, state legislators, attorneys, advocates, city council members, school board members, and more.

“LeadAR can equip local leaders with the knowledge, skills and competencies to influence real change in their communities,” said Robinson. “Participants complete service projects throughout the program and demonstrate impact before graduating from LeadAR. Participants can learn from other leaders across the state and grow their networks.”

LeadAR is supported by program alumni, corporate donors, foundations, and the Department of Agriculture. Attendee costs are $3,500, which includes seminar fees, most lodging, meals, and travel. Class members are encouraged to seek tuition support from outside sources such as employers, and scholarships are available to help pay for participants.

For more information and to apply for LeadAR, visit or contact LeadAR Director Julie Robinson at

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