2012-03-15 / News

Vanderwal selected for Farm Bureau leadership program


Ryan Vanderwal Ryan Vanderwal Ryan Vanderwal of Missaukee County is one of 15 Michigan young farmers chosen to participate in Michigan Farm Bureau’s (MFB) 2012-13 ProFILE leadership program.

Vanderwal and his father operate a 600-acre farm of corn, alfalfa, grass and grazing land near Lake City and also operates two dairy service agribusinesses. He looks to the ProFILE program to learn and grow as an individual while motivating others to set their goals higher, a press release stated.

The educational program is designed to mold the next generation of Farm Bureau leaders by strengthening leadership skills and offering insight into how to become more involved in the organization’s activities. Selected participants, ages 25 to 35, are nominated by their county Farm Bureaus.

Graduates are encouraged to become county Farm Bureau board members and work their way up to take part in other MFB committees and activities at the state level. More than 200 Farm Bureau members have participated in the program since its inception in 1990.

“This group of young leaders represents the best and brightest of future potential Farm Bureau leaders,” said ProFILE coordinator Jenna Schrot. “We’re excited about this new class, and have an outstanding program prepared for them.”

A Jan. 20 orientation meeting at the Farm Bureau Center in Lansing began the 15-month schedule of leadership training.

Programs in February and March include training in legislative procedure and politics, team-building, organization, priority-setting and meeting management. In the summer months, ProFILE participants will help organize a golf scramble for MFB Young Farmers and continue training in leadership skills and agricultural issues.

Training resumes after the 2012 harvest season, with a winter workshop focusing on organizational management, setting agendas, inspiring cooperation and building consensus. Related topics will include training in communication skills, assertiveness, organization and goal-setting.

A weeklong national tour in February 2013 will expose program participants to agriculture and Farm Bureau work in other states. The trip includes stops at the American Farm Bureau Federation offices in Washington, D.C. and several county and state Farm Bureaus across the country.

The program concludes in the spring of 2013 with a wrap-up weekend pro- gram, where the class will review the program and plan for the future.

Also participating in the 2012-13 ProFILE program are Matt Mokma, Allegan County; Mishelle Shooks, Antrim County; Joshua Rick, Berrien County; Stephen Bott, Grand Traverse County; Marissa Bramer and Ben Wilson, Gratiot County; Trevor Bechtel, Isabella County; Brian Sanford, Jackson County; Jo Goodwin, Lapeer County; Chad Root, Lenawee County; Martha Munsell, Livingston County; Jason Scramlin, Oakland County; Michael Butler, St. Clair County; and Josh Dietrich, Van Buren County.

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