The Governor Dolph Briscoe Jr. Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership Program, or TALL, is seeking applicants for its new cohort, which will begin in July.
TALL is a two-year leadership development program managed by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Applications for the new cohort, Class XVII, are due March 15 and are available online at https://tall.tamu.edu/tall-xvi/.
“The agriculture industry constantly faces new and unique challenges, and there is a need for individuals who have leadership potential to serve in decision-making positions,” said Jim Mazurkiewicz, professor and AgriLife Extension leadership program director. “TALL graduates provide a new pool of proven leaders who can provide the leadership, insight, knowledge and direction to ensure that agriculture is viable in the future.”
The program invests 455 hours of intensive training per person in seminars, speakers and domestic and international study trips over two years, Mazurkiewicz said.
“It’s equivalent to the time spent obtaining a master’s degree in agriculture,” he said.
The typical class size is about 26, and participation cost is $3,000.
“The mission of the program is to create a cadre of Texas leaders to ensure effective understanding and encourage positive action on key issues, theories, policy and economics that will advance the agriculture industry,” Mazurkiewicz said.
Participants include traditional crop producers, ranchers, bankers and attorneys, as well as those who work in lumber, food processing, agricultural corporations and horticultural industries, he said.
“The TALL program has taught me a lot about agriculture across the state, but most importantly, it’s taught me that the future of ag in our great state is in good hands,” said Lauren Echols Decker, Rolling Plains Cotton Growers Inc. executive vice president, Stamford. “Not only with my fellow cohort members, but with the families we’ve met across the country and in Texas who are deeply committed to sustaining rural communities and preserving agriculture’s many rich traditions.”
“The TALL Program has given me an incredible opportunity to become an ambassador of agriculture by allowing me to participate in such an amazing experience,” said Kyle Watts, Texas Farm Credit branch manager, Tyler. “I have been fortunate to learn through the unique curriculum, investment, hard work and dedication of those who believe and support such a remarkable program.”