Program trains Farm Bureau members in leadership, farm issues
» March 16, 2005 «
Intensive, specialized training in leadership skills and agricultural issues awaits the 12 people selected to participate in the California Farm Bureau Federation's 2005 Leadership Farm Bureau program.
The group represents current and prospective leaders from county Farm Bureaus around California. The curriculum for the 2005 class, which meets for the first time this week, includes visits to Washington, D.C., in June and to Mexico in October.
"Developing new leaders is crucial for our organization," California Farm Bureau President Bill Pauli said. "In its first five years, the Leadership Farm Bureau program has identified and trained 60 people who have assumed leadership roles in Farm Bureau."
The members of the 2005 Leadership Farm Bureau class include:
- Julie Austin, El Dorado County, owner/operator of Goat Central, a vegetation-management and goat-breeding business;
- Sean Barajas, Kings County, agronomist who oversees cotton and other field crops for J.G. Boswell Co.;
- Michael Boitano, Amador County, county agricultural commissioner and cattle rancher;
- Robert Brennan, Tuolumne County, cattle rancher who owns and operates Brennan Ranch;
- Kevin Chiesa, Stanislaus County, ranch/shop manager for Ronald Martella Farms, which grows walnuts, almonds and cling peaches;
- Katrina Curti, Tulare County, regional sales manager for Immavac Inc., a producer of large-animal vaccines;
- Michel Etchebarne, Stanislaus County, almond grower and president of a large-animal nutrition practice;
- Anna Hoes, Yolo County, agricultural insurance representative for Armstrong and Associates;
- Melodie Johnson, Colusa County, executive manager of the Colusa County Farm Bureau;
- Lowell "Mac" Keely, Monterey County, chief financial officer for VEC Farms, which grows, packs and ships fresh vegetables;
- Ted Reimers, Stanislaus County, senior loan officer for AgCredit and participant in a family cattle and dryland-farming operation;
- Bastiann "B.J." Van Dam, San Bernardino County, operator of a family dairy farm.
They will participate in 250 hours of specialized training, including trips, lectures, group discussions and personal development. The Washington trip will focus on the legislative process, and the Mexico trip provides participants with insights on trade and other international issues.
Members of the 2005 Leadership Farm Bureau class conclude their program at the CFBF Annual Meeting this December in Monterey.
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