LeadAR Class 18's First Year
As we begin a new year, I want to reflect on the journey Class 18 members have taken to get to this point. Like all who came before them, members had a lot thrown at them and had some memorable experiences.
We kicked off 2018 with 28 inspiring participants from 16 counties around the state.
The first seminar in February was in Little Rock and themed Becoming a Leader. We covered the basics of the LeadAR program and introduced new members to 16 different
state agencies and organizations. Class 18 also heard about ethical leading, True
Colors Personality Assessment, and some leader development opportunities.
The day began with an overview of the livestock industry in Arkansas and a tour of the research station, with discussions surrounding the beef industry ranging from general cattle management to genetic enhancement. We concluded with an expert panel on state and national livestock issues. Class members received a guided tour by racing legend Mark Martin at his museum, toured the Bad Boy Mowers plant, and spent time in downtown Batesville. On the final day of the seminar, the class learned about self-awareness as a leader and completed the Meyers-Briggs Personality Assessment.
LeadAR Seminar Four centered on Forestry and Natural Resources of Arkansas. The August seminar tested the class members’ heat tolerance.
We began the seminar with an update from U.S. Congressman Bruce Westerman of the Fourth District of Arkansas. The group boarded a bus and traveled to the woods for a hands-on experience on an active logging site. Other seminar content included prescribed burning, a timber marketing demonstration, aerial surveillance, wildlife management, feral hog management, hunting and leasing, pine plantation management, streamside management zones, and hardwood management.
This busy class of emerging leaders also left the state. LeadAR Class 18 completed the National Study Tour to Washington, D.C. in September. There they learned first-hand how policy is developed from the people who make it happen. They met with top-level government, federal agency, and community leaders in a mix of formal meetings and informative tours.
Arkansas’ Congressional Delegation met with class members to discuss pressing issues
and ways they can help solve them. Class 18 toured the Pentagon, FBI Headquarters,
the Library of Congress and many national monuments. Sen. John Boozman took the class
on a night tour of the U.S. Capitol Building.
The class heard updates on the latest national issues from representatives of the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Commerce – Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the American Farm Bureau, the National Association of Counties, and even the Embassy of France.
A special treat for Class 18 was a social and dinner with the leadership program from Maryland – Lead Maryland - as they were completing their D.C. study tour the same week. The night included a motivational speaker, Retired U.S. Army Col. and Director of Arkansas Department of Veteran Affairs, Nathaniel Todd, who discussed “leading together.”
As you can see, Class 18 has been very busy this past year with more to come in 2019! The next seminar for Class 18 will be Jan. 24-26, 2019 in Fayetteville. This Northwest Arkansas Seminar will include tours of the Tyson Discovery Center and Pea Ridge Manufacturing and Business Academy, along with a series of panels where participants will learn about the health and education issues in Arkansas from state and industry experts.
If you see one of our members out in the community, take a moment to check in with them and ask about their LeadAR experiences.