In 1989, the Institute of Food and Agricultural Science (IFAS) saw the need for an agricultural-based leadership program in Florida and began the process of implementing such a program, the Florida Leadership Program for Agriculture and Natural Resources. Eighteen years later this program has graduated six classes, has approximately 175 alumni who have participated in the program and has reached an endowment fundraising goal of over one million dollars. The endowment goal was reached by the generosity of private sector Florida agriculture and an aggressive endowment campaign. A large contribution was given as a living tribute to Mr. George Wedgworth, to honor his contributions to Florida agriculture.
The program’s name was changed to the Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources (WLIANR) in 2003. The program is sponsored by the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) at the University of Florida and has an academic home in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. The program has an advisory council made up of alumni, industry officials and university personnel, who assist the director and program staff in keeping the program relevant and advise in program structure and content.
Dr. Eugene Trotter – Founder of the Wedgworth Leadership Institute