The Wyoming L.E.A.D. program is Wyoming's longest running statewide program for adults
that is designed to develop and train a network of leaders who can speak articulately for
agriculture and Wyoming communities.
Fellows gain confidence through group discussions, personal presentations, networking
opportunities and leadership components at each seminar. A class project with fellow class
members from across the state broadens participants’ experience in group problem solving,
while benefiting a rural community at the same time.
The program consists of eight instate seminars, one seminar in Washington, D.C., an
international study tour and various tours across Wyoming. Topics include: communication,
family relationships and leadership; ag policy, programs and trade; rural economics and marketing; natural resources and energy; state and national government; and research and technology.
Seminar presentations and local tours enable participants to gain an understanding of Wyoming communities, while having the opportunity to meet with state and national elected officials, state agency directors, agricultural organizations and other industry leaders.
- 83 percent are involved in local & state ag and/or community organizations.
- 84 percent are officers & board directors including national commissions and agricultural organizations executive officers.
- 89 percent serve or have served in elected or appointed public positions.
- 3 percent are or have been employed by agriculture or agribusiness executive directors, administrators and heads of offices.
Fourteen classes of leaders, totaling 232 individuals, have graduated from the program with many of the agricultural industry's most influential professionals as alumni.
The Wyoming L.E.A.D. program was initiated in 1984 with a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to establish a rural leadership program. The program was initially administered through the University of Wyoming. In 1993, the Wyoming Agricultural Leadership Council (WALC) formed a non-profit organization and began administering the program. The Wyoming Business Council formed a partnership with WALC to provide financial support and staff from 1999 through 2015. In the fall of 2015, WALC resumed staffing and administration of the program. Nationally, there are over 30 similar agricultural and rural leadership programs, as well as some international programs.