GUELPH – The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) has kicked off fundraising for the current Class of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP) with a $10,000 contribution to AALP Class 18. The money raised will offset costs of additional COVID-19 related travel requirements for more social distancing and re-planning of AALP Class 18’s international study tour.
A foundational partner of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership program, along with the University of Guelph and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, OFA has been a leading sponsor for 36 years since the program’s inception in 1984. Over that time 17 Classes have graduated 482 alumni who contribute their leadership skills to the agri-food sector in businesses, organizations, governments, media, and for global trade/policy/development. AALP is an experiential executive leadership program for those who want to shape the future of the agriculture and food industry and make a positive difference in rural communities across Ontario.
OFA officials indicated the organization wanted to support the 21 participants of the current Class 18 to ensure they graduate having the experience AALP is known for, strong leadership skills, a wide-ranging network and a global appreciation of the ag-sector.
“As an AALP Class 9 alumnus I know the value of building a strong network, both among the participants within an AALP Class and also with local, provincial, national and international influencing leaders. OFA values leadership skills in the ag-sector and with nine AALP alumni as part of our board and staff we recognize the importance of building agriculture’s capacity to lead,” stated OFA general manager Cathy Lennon in a Jan. 7 press release.
“As with many agriculture and rural non-profits, COVID has meant that our approach to program delivery needed to change. Class 18 will meet virtually connecting with other agriculture program participants and business/ag-sector/political leaders around the world until the can meet safely in person and complete their international study tour. Our program sponsors have never wavered in their commitment to the program and I believe this is very meaningful to participants in Class 18,” stated Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) leadership programs director Gabrielle Ferguson.
ROI officials expressed gratitude to the OFA for their additional contribution to the AALP. Officials are hoping the contribution encourage other agriculture and rural organizations, businesses and AALP alumni to contribute with the same recognition that Class 18 needs more support because of the pandemic.
Donations to the ROI will benefit the AALP.
For more information contact Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org.