It’s not okay to be okay.Mr. Jeremy Foley, UF Athletic Director Emeritus
This statement shared at Class XI’s first seminar perfectly describes the sentiment of my first six months as program director. So many alumni and friends of the program have offered their support and have all been consistent in their message about the preeminence of this program. When I heard Jeremy Foley make this statement, it summed up my goal for the Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources. It’s not okay to be okay.
For our industries to survive in today’s climate, “okay” doesn’t cut it. We must be the standard bearers for the leadership we want to see in Florida agriculture and natural resources. In reviewing the 63 applications for Class XI, it was evident that “okay” people weren’t nominated. We have a class of 30 individuals who represent 22 unique sub-sectors of the industry, from citrus to cattle to sod production. Class members also bring geographic diversity, representing 22 different counties across the state, from Calhoun to St. Johns to Miami-Dade.
Two individuals helping Janice and me ensure Class XI has a first-class experience are Brian Myers and Kevin Kent. Brian is the department chair for the UF/IFAS Agricultural Education and Communication Department and is serving in the role of faculty adviser for Class XI. Kevin is a doctoral student and serving as the program coordinator for Class XI. I’m thrilled to have both gentlemen on our team.
I hope you enjoy the first edition of Class XI’s Wedgworth Wire. We have changed the newsletter format just a bit in an effort to be responsive to digital content management. If you have any feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
My hope, as we approach 2020, is none of us will settle for simply “okay.” But rather continue to serve as high-impact leaders in our industries and communities and use our WLI network to support and advance Florida agriculture and natural resources.