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LeadAR members lay wreath at Arlington tomb

By Ryan McGeeney
U of A System Division of Agriculture
March 4, 2016

Fast Facts:

  • LeadAR Class 17 traveled to Washington, D.C.
  • Division of Ag leadership program spans two years, including national and international study trips

(307 words)

WASHINGTON — Two members of LeadAR, the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s premier leadership program, shared a once-in-a-lifetime experience Feb. 25 when they participated in the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. 

LeadAR students at Arlington tomb

Bobby Hall, director of the LeadAR program, selected Donna Ferguson, an administrator for the Dallas County Department of Health, and Jeramy Richey, a Greene County farmer, to participate in the wreath laying ceremony. Both Ferguson and Richey are veterans of the U.S. military. 

“This was certainly a memorable experience for everyone,” Hall said. “Several of the class members had never been to Washington, D.C. before, and were amazed by the overall experience. Even those who had been there before said they learned from the experience.” 

Hall said the trip also included visits to the White House, NASA, the Cuban Embassy and several federal agencies. 

Ferguson, Richey and 20 of their fellow classmates are part of LeadAR Class 17, which began in February 2015. LeadAR is an intensive leadership program that introduces participants to social, economic and business challenges being met by individuals and institutions across Arkansas, as well as at the national and international level. Over the course of two years, class members meet for 11 three-day weekend seminars, travel to the nation’s capital for a week-long national study trip and travel abroad for a week-long international study trip. 

Although Hall said the destination for Class 17’s international study trip had not yet been determined, previous classes had traveled to countries including Vietnam, China, Australia, Canada and others. 

LeadAR alumni currently living in Greene County include Shannon Beasley, Brian Duncan, Tommy Justus, Sue McGowan, Brad Nelson and Monty Williams. Barbara Finley is a LeadAR alumnus living in Dallas County. 

For more information about the LeadAR program, contact your local cooperative extension agent, or visit


The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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