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Deadline nears for LEAD Md. ag program

August 29, 2006

QUEENSTOWN, Md. - LEAD Maryland Foundation, Inc., which develops leaders to work on rural issues and in rural communities, is accepting applications for its next class of LEAD Fellows.

Completed applications and references are due to the LEAD office by Oct. 1.

Applications are available at www.leadmaryland.org, or via e-mail attachment, CD, or a printed form. Contact the LEAD office at ddant@umail.umd.edu, leadmd@umd.edu or 1-410-827-8056, ext. 136, for applications in any of these formats.

LEAD Maryland classes have had 20 to 25 Fellows in each two-year program. Approximately 100 people have completed the program so far.

"LEAD has proven to be a very successful program in its eight years," said Agriculture Secretary Lewis R. Riley.

The ideal class will be made up of emerging leaders with diverse backgrounds, occupations, perspectives, and experiences in agriculture, natural resources and rural communities, the foundation said in a news release.

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LEAD seeks applicants who are farmers, growers, producers and foresters or who are involved in related activities through business or volunteer work.

During 2007 and 2008, the LEAD Class V will complete eight 3-day seminars throughout Maryland and Delaware. In addition, the class will do a 4-day study tour in Washington, D.C., and participate in an international study tour.

LEAD said its curriculum looks into issues affecting rural economies and quality of life such as population growth - much of it sprawling onto rural landscapes; globalization of markets; increasing concerns about the quality of the environment; and an aging rural population.

The international study tour has taken previous classes to the Netherlands, Cuba, Brazil and China.

"LEAD Maryland helped me at a critical juncture in my career by increasing my understanding of the connections between agriculture, the political realm, and the other parts of the economy," said Mark Powell, marketing chief for the Maryland Department of Agriculture and former Delmarva Farmer newspaper editor.

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