LeadAR, a leadership development program of the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, was honored with a regional Innovator award as part of the southern Leadership Summit conference held in Biloxi, MS, June 1 to 3.

Governor Mike Huckabee presented Joe Waldrum, director of LeadAR, with the award at the opening session of the conference. Each year, Southern Growth Policies Board, a regional public policy think tank, recognizes innovative programs in the south that are improving the quality of life in the region.

The Southern Leadership Summit innovators included a collection of 25 public, private, faith-based, academic and nonprofit programs that promote leadership development and civic engagement in the south. Nominated by southern governors, the innovators were honored based on their unique approaches to leadership development and creative tactics to reach and involve traditionally underserved groups. Programs ranged from neighborhood and community level projects to statewide initiatives.

LeadAR was recognized for its role in leadership development and for building a statewide network of leaders to benefit all Arkansas communities. LeadAR is a two-year program that involves citizens from rural and agricultural backgrounds. The program consists of seminars that include a national and international study tours and community service.

For more information on LeadAR, visit

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