Young Leader Program

For more than 30 years, the ASA DuPont Young Leader program has identified and developed grower leaders who continue to shape the future of agriculture.

The ASA DuPont Young Leader program is a challenging and educational two-part training program. Phase I of the training took place at the DuPont Pioneer headquarters in Johnston, Iowa, Nov. 29 – Dec.  2, 2016. The program continues Feb. 28 – March 3, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas in conjunction with the annual Commodity Classic Convention and Trade Show.

2017 ASA DuPont Young Leaders Hone Communication, Management Skills at First Phase of Training

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The 33rd class of American Soybean Association (ASA) DuPont Young Leaders recently began their leadership journey at DuPont Pioneer headquarters in Johnston, Iowa.

The Johnston training session was the first phase of a program designed to identify new and aspiring leaders and provide them with opportunities to enhance their skills and network with other growers. Representatives from 23 states and Canada participated in the training.

“The Young Leaders program provides training in key areas, including communication and leadership, while growing their peer network. This strengthens our industry and allows us to work collaboratively in our local, state and national organizations,” said ASA Chairman Richard Wilkins (DE). “The Young Leaders program continues to have an enormous impact on not only the soybean industry but all of agriculture. The class of 2017 is exceptional; they are engaged, talented and passionate about agriculture. We are grateful to DuPont Pioneer and DuPont Crop Protection for making this program possible.”

The 2017 Class of Young Leaders are: Cade Grace, AL; Layne and Ryane Miles, AR; Brock Willard, IL; Jonathan and Derika Lynam-Spaetti, IN; Alex Brownlee, IA; Casey Schlichting, IA; Brandon and Blair Geiger, KS; Brett Neibling, KS; Kyle Bugg, KY; Mike and Lindsey Gaspard, LA; Angela and June Provost, LA; Andrew Crawford, MI; Matt and Jessica Swoish, MI; Trevore Brekken, MN; Chad and Monica McCollough, MO; Blake Hokamp, NE; Leslie Hamilton and Dan Stein, NY; Greg Manning and Jessica Harris, NC; Kasey Bitz, ND; Trish Levering, OH; Jean Lam, OK; Jeff and Janie Harrison, Canada; Justin and Jessica Rivers, SC.; Nick and Shelly Lorang, SD.; Rob Holman, TN; Doug Singleteary, TN; Grayson Kirby and Cindy Dykes, VA; Wes and Amanda Marshall, VA; and Tony and Katie Mellenthin, WI.

“It was a privilege to meet this year’s enthusiastic class of DuPont Young Leaders, who will take on the challenges and opportunities that face American agriculture,” said Steve Reno, vice president, regional business director – U.S. & Canada. “We look forward to watching them develop their leadership skills throughout the program.”

Here’s what past DuPont Young Leaders say about the program: 

“We had no idea what an impact the ASA DuPont Young Leader Program would have on us. We have sharpened our communication and leadership skills, gained confidence in our ability to advocate, and made lifelong friendships with other farmers across the country. So many new opportunities have opened up to us in the past year, and it all started with the Young Leader Program.” – Class of 2016 alumni Adam and Lindsey Hendricks, of Kentucky.

“The DuPont Young Leader Program actually launched my leadership career. The program taught me skills to succeed on soybean boards, other boards and on the farm.  The program is invaluable. My son and daughter-in-law, Seth and Jodie More, also attended the DYL program and acquired many new skills as well. The program is a wonderful teaching tool for people young in leadership. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to participate in the program.”- Class of 2003 alumna Annie Dee, of Alabama. 

“The DYL program was the starting point for me in my leadership role not only in the American Soybean Association, but in local ag issues as well. The training received helped me to be more confident in my abilities to work with others for common goals.”-Class of 2003 alumnus Kevin Hoyer, of Wisconsin. 

For Information, contact your state affiliate office or:

Christine Luelf
American Soybean Association
12125 Woodcrest Executive Drive, Suite 100
St. Louis, MO 63141
Ph. 314-754-1291
cluelf@soy.org

Meet the 2016 Class of ASA DuPont Young Leaders

ASA DuPont Young Leaders Explore Issues, Marketing 

The 32nd class of American Soybean Association (ASA) DuPont Young Leaders completed their training, March 1 – 5, 2016 in New Orleans, La. in conjunction with the annual Commodity Classic Convention and Trade Show.DYL3

“For many years, the ASA DuPont Young Leader program has filled the critical role of identifying new and emerging leaders in the soybean industry and then training them to be strong voices and advocates for agriculture,” said ASA President Richard Wilkins. “We’re grateful to DuPont Pioneer and DuPont for their commitment to this program and for helping secure the future of the soybean industry.’

DYL5While in New Orleans, the Young Leaders completed the second phase of the program with leadership and marketing training, issues updates and discussion and were recognized at ASA’s annual awards banquet. The group began their leadership journey at DuPont Pioneer headquarters in Johnston, Iowa in November for the first phase of a program designed to identify new and aspiring leaders and provide them with opportunities to enhance their skills and network with other growers.

“The ASA DuPont Young Leader program has a proud tradition of developing strong advocates for American agriculture,” said Steve Reno, DuPont Pioneer vice president, regional business director – US & Canada. “Having had the opportunity to spend some time with them, I can say that this year’s class is carrying forward that tradition of excellence, and we appreciate their commitment to the Young Leader program.”DYL6

The 2016 class of ASA DuPont Young Leaders include: Brady Peek, Ala.; Derek Holden and Amanda Crangle, Ark.; Jeff and Dianne Barlow, Canada; Aaron and Melanie Thompson, Del.; Brian Ogletree, Ga.; Alan and Kara Hill, Ill.; John Wildermuth, Ind.; Ethon Smith and Ally Legett, Iowa.; Matthew Atkinson and Mary Ann Ross, Kan.; Ben and Katie Furnish, Ky.; Adam and Lindsey Hendricks, Ky.; Vincent and Krysten Cannatella, La.; Nikolaj Morris and Crystal Johnson, La.; Mike Opificius, Mich.; Rodd and Jamie Beyer, Minn.; Taylor and Rebecca Tesch, Minn.; Paul Muirhead, Miss.; Andrew and Jennifer Lance, Mo.; John and Stephanie Thompson, Mo.; Wade and Abby Walters, Neb.; Brett Medlin, N.C.;  Greg and Monica Gussiaas, N.D.; Luke Ryan, OH.; Joshua and Kara Kayser, S.D.; Don Holbert, Tenn.; Brett Wightman, Va.; John and Julie Mills, Va.; and Rochelle and Evan Schnadt, Wis.

Photo credit: Joe Murphy

The ASA DuPont Young Leader class of 2015-16 completed their training in New Orleans, La. in March. Photo Credit: Joe Murphy

Meet the 2015 Class of ASA DuPont Young Leaders

The 31st class of ASA DuPont Young Leaders completed their training, Feb. 24 – 28, 2015 in Phoenix, Ariz. in conjunction with the annual Commodity Classic Convention and Trade Show.

“The DuPont Young Leader Program fills a critical role in the soybean industry by identifying new and emerging leaders and then training them to be strong voices and advocates for agriculture,” said Wade Cowan, ASA President. “We’re grateful to DuPont Pioneer and DuPont for their commitment to this program and for helping secure the future of the soybean industry. After spending time with this year’s class, I can assure you the soybean industry is in good hands.” DYL15

While in Phoenix, the Young Leaders participated in leadership and marketing training, issues updates and discussion and were recognized at ASA’s annual awards banquet.

The 2015 class of ASA DuPont Young Leaders participating in the Phoenix training includes: Kyle Bridgeforth, Ala.; Dave McEacheren, Canada; Nick Wurl, Ill.; Adam & Hannah Steen, Ind.; Morey & Rhonda Hill, Iowa; Andrew & LaVell Winsor, Kan; Andrew & Jenny Alford, Ky.; Brennan & Serena Gilkison, Ky,; Odis & Tammy Hill, La.; Matthew Doss & Stephanie Francis, Mich.; Aaron Yaggie, Minn.; Ryan & Wendy Wondercheck, Minn.; John Mark Looney, Miss.; Bill Hayen, Mo.; Amanda & Dustin Fairley, Neb.; Brent Svoboda, Neb.; Brad Macauley, N.Y.; Christopher & Cherish Naylor, N.C.; Jarred Billadeau, N.D.; Dan & Cindy Sturgill, Ohio; Cliff & Hailey Barron, S.C.; Antron Williams, S.C.; Brandon Wipf, S.D.; John Dodson & Kristi Kosman, Tenn.; Glenn & Amanda Dye, Va.; and Brad & Nicole Kremer, Wis.

“Commodity Classic provided an ideal venue for the ASA DuPont Young Leaders to continue to strengthen their leadership skills and learn more about the policies that impact agriculture,” said DuPont Pioneer Sr. Industry Relations Manager Randy Wanke. “We have been very impressed with the caliber of the 31st class of Young Leaders and greatly appreciate ASA’s commitment to leadership development.”

Meet the 2014 Class of ASA DuPont Young Leaders

Program Benefits

Young Leaders enhance their leadership skills and build a strong peer network leading to increased success in their business, leadership and community.

Many graduates of this leadership training program assume roles on their state and national soybean associations.

This seminar is an intense course designed to enhance leadership skills for the future benefit of the entire agricultural industry. The training is interactive and includes evening group meals and activities. Young Leaders and their spouses are expected to participate fully in all training aspects and evening activities.

Selection Criteria

We are looking for persons who are interested in gaining knowledge to take that next step in leadership…Actual age is not a factor.

Criteria for selection to the ASA/DuPont Young Leader Program is as follows:

  1. Innovative soybean farmers interested in growing their existing skills for future leadership positions. Applicants must show strong leadership qualities demonstrated through production/marketing of soybeans and community activities.
  2. Active supporters of agriculture with an interest in serving as a soybean industry leader.
  3. Demonstrated natural resources stewardship using best management and conservation practices
  4. Members of their state soybean association.
  5. Participants must be at least 21 years old.

The ASA/DuPont Young Leader Program is designed for growers interested in assuming a position of leadership in the agricultural industry. Actual age is not a factor.