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Wedgworth Leadership Institute Selects Class XI

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- The UF/IFAS Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources (WLI) recently selected 30 participants for Class XI of its two-year leadership development program. The first seminar of the program will take place in Gainesville in November. Administered by University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and housed in the department of agricultural education and communication, WLI hosted its inaugural class in 1992. With approximately 450 program alumni (inclusive of participants and their spouses), WLI has ... Read more

Christy Chiarelli Named Director of Wedgworth Leadership Institute

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Christy Chiarelli has been a part of the agricultural community for as long as she can remember. Whether she was helping out on her grandfather’s farm or participating in 4-H and Future Farmers of America, she wasn’t afraid to step up, eventually becoming the national FFA vice president for the southern region. Chiarelli will continue taking the lead as the next director of the Wedgworth Leadership Institute. As director, she will also be an Extension assistant scientist in the ... Read more

Class X Seminar XI Newsletter

Class X met for their eleventh and international seminar on June 1st-16th, 2018. Our featured Class X authors for this newsletter are Ryan Atwood, Aaron Himrod, Adrian Jahna, Alicia Taylor, and Caroline Villanueva.  Click on the image of the newsletter to read about this seminar!   Read more

Three more sleeps…

It's Wednesday morning and the bags are being loaded onto the bus. We have gotten pretty efficient at loading, unloading, checking in and checking out of hotels. I think everyone is looking forward to not living out of a suitcase (myself included), but I don't want to wish our trip away. The last few days in Scotland have been really good--the countryside is breath taking, the visits interesting and informative--a dairy farmer yesterday said he was all for brexit because ... Read more

Second week, second continent…

Happy Monday! It's a misty, overcast day in Scotland--what one would expect. It was a long travel night and day to get here. But we arrived in good spirits and ready for our second week--after a little time to decompress. It was a bit of a cultural shock to get off the plane back to first world craziness. Africa does lull you into a slower pace and "Africa time". We arrived at the hotel around 3pm yesterday and everyone ... Read more

Farewell Africa….

We are week down and sitting back in the Johannesburg airport reflecting on our time in Africa (and buying last minute souvenirs--the shopping here is incredible!) The group is doing well, while missing family, dogs (the canines at the farm we visited today got lots of pats), and the comforts of home (there has been longing for sweet tea), they have hung together, propped each other up and really been open to the experience of Africa. It's sometimes hard to ... Read more

A love letter to eSwatini

Imagine a people who speak with confidence and humility in equal proportions. Imagine a people who do not battle with anxiety, depression, or other mental strongholds in too high of numbers like Americans do. Imagine a people who say 'thank you', even when they take nothing. Imagine a people who sing and dance and beam with national pride, despite being ruled by a king who governs with strict laws. You've just pictured the people of Swaziland. Two days ago, WLI Class X was walking from a ... Read more

“We’re going to where?!”

I'm sure when I shared Plan B after Kenya fell through with the group they wondered where the heck Swaziland was?! Now, I would wager anything that they wouldn't have traded the experiences in this country for the world! Today was a stellar day of programming. We began by visiting a farming company--many small farmers have banded together to form "companies" (cooperatives). Sugarcane "aka Swazi gold" is the primary crop here and you can see it as far as ... Read more

In good company

I love the success stories. Who doesn't, right? Well, today my heart swelled with pride after hearing the story of the Intamakuphila Farmers Association, a company focused on sustainable sugar production, and its young chairman. In the Swazi language, "Intamakuphila" literally means "earning a living." In the USA, we would call their business model a cooperative. Farmers banded together across 253 local hectares (roughly 607 acres) to pool their efforts, resources and costs (like pumps to get river water to farm ... Read more

Busy day in Swaziland Read more
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