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Kansas Ag and Rural Leadership announces Class XI


The Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership program has announced the 30 members of its Class XI.

New class members for 2011-2013 were announced as part of a June 4 celebration at the Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure Conference Center near Salina, as KARL marks its 20th year. The two-year educational program offers intensive study, training and travel for emerging leaders in agriculture and rural communities.

"Since Class I (1991-1993) KARL leaders have accomplished many admirable tasks in Kansas' development," said Jack Lindquist, president of Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership, Inc. as he spoke to members of the new class, as well as KARL board members, graduates and donors June 4. "Big shoes will be needed to walk in the path of those that stepped up before you."

Members of KARL Class XI, their hometowns and counties, in alphabetical order by last name include: Blake Angell, Ellis, Ellis County; Dan Atkisson, Stockton, Rooks County; Amy Bickel, Burrton, Harvey County; Debra Bolton, Garden City, Finney County; Jarrod Bowser, Circleville, Jackson County; Randall Debler, Alma, Wabaunsee County; Brandon Depenbusch, Great Bend, Barton County; Tyler Ediger, Meade, Meade County; Tanner Ehmke, Healy, Lane County; Andrea Feldkamp, Manhattan, Riley County; Mark Fowler, Manhattan, Riley County; Mandy Fox, Ulysses, Grant County; Natalie Gosch, Mulvane, Sedgwick County; Hannah Grape, Manhattan, Riley County; Liesel Grauberger, Concordia, Cloud County; Kris Graves, Bartlett, Labette County; Aaron Harries, Manhattan, Riley County; Kelsey Holste, Manhattan, Riley County; Michael Irvin, Manhattan, Riley County; Tricia Jantz, Newton, Harvey County; Todd Jennison, Scott City, Scott County; Paula Landoll-Smith, Marysville, Marshall County; Josh Morrill, Garnett, Anderson County; Joe Muller, Coffeyville, Labette County; Craig Poore, Alton, Osborne County; Jon Schmidt, Minneapolis, Ottawa County; Reid Shrauner, Elkhart, Morton County; Chris Tanner, Norton, Norton County; Luke Thornton, Anthony, Harper County; and Tyler VanWinkle, Manhattan, Riley County.

"This was my fourth time participating in the KARL program interviews--always impressed by the amazing candidates we attract," said KARL, Inc. former board chair Clark Boyer in a 'tweet' following Class XI candidate interviews.

Class XI represents both the small Kansas community and urban viewpoints. The education, motivation and experiences that will come from within the group of 24- to 54-year-old members will be as important as the curriculum, Lindquist said.

The new class's two-year training, which begins this fall, will include nine in-state seminars; a "Blue Chip" seminar, which is an executive review of a Fortune 500 corporation's (Monsanto) strategic management processes; and a tour to Washington, D.C., where they will study decision making on the federal level. The class's capstone event will be an international study tour to Peru in 2013.

"Peru is a rapidly growing trading partner for the U.S.," Lindquist said. "The U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement entered into force on Feb. 1, 2009, opened the way to greater trade and investment between the two countries," Lindquist said.

"Few Americans get to venture beyond our own borders. Just 10 percent of Americans speak a second language and fewer than 30 percent hold passports," said Marisa Larson, KARL, Inc. vice president at the announcement event. "How can we expect our country to address global problems when so few of us have seen the globe? Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership is unique in addressing that problem by offering an intensive study, training and travel program for future leaders in agriculture and rural communities. KARL graduates fill the need for level-headed, well-informed leaders for communities and organizations, affecting positive change in an ever-changing world."

"To ensure KARL can continue its work developing leadership excellence, we need your support," Larson told attendees. "The new Class XI members will soon begin attending seminars. Their first year includes economic literacy instruction, communications training, conflict management exposure and the development of valuable contacts at the local, state and national levels. The second year focuses on biosecurity, water conservation, food safety, trade balance issues and ends with a study tour to experience the culture, political system and agriculture of a trading partner. By learning about the world, as well as local and national issues, KARL graduates are prepared to take on today's critical challenges."

KARL's mission is to provide first-class leadership development for agricultural and rural stakeholders by designing and offering challenging and illuminating education and enrichment programs as well as a forum for continuous engagement, Lindquist said. The organization's vision is to be the preferred partner in developing excellence in agricultural and rural leadership.

KARL training carries a value of nearly $17,000 per person. Since no tax revenues are utilized for the program, funding is provided by contributions from the private sector, he said. Donations from individuals, organizations, companies, corporations and foundations provide over four-fifths of the program's budget. Participants pay a tuition fee of $1,500 each of the two years for the remaining costs. Anyone wishing to invest in their own future by supporting the program can make tax deductible contributions directly to KARL at 101 Umberger Hall, Manhattan KS 66506. Call 785-532-6300 for more information. For more information about the new class, alumni, the curriculum or program goals visit the website at www.karlprogram.com.

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