— Christy Chiarelli, 352-392-1041, email@example.com
Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources Selects Class XII
September 15, 2023 —
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources (WLI) recently selected 30 participants for Class XII of its two-year leadership development program. The first seminar takes place in Gainesville in November.
Participants have committed to 11 seminars, totaling 55 days, which further develop their leadership capacity in representing agricultural and natural resources industries. Seminars range from the Florida panhandle to Miami, as well as Washington D.C. and a two-week international learning experience. The program broadens participants’ perspectives and builds a network within the industry and beyond. As a result, program graduates are equipped to address challenges of local, state, national and global dimensions.
“The announcement of this class inspires great optimism for the future of Florida agriculture and natural resources,” said Scott Angle, UF’s senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources and interim provost. “The caliber of this class again demonstrates how leaders are drawn to Wedgworth for its reputation for transforming potential into achievement and to prepare participants to tackle the most complicated of challenges.”
Class members were selected through a rigorous nomination and application process with 68 candidates competing for 30 available seats. The group is representative of agriculture’s diversity through their employment in 24 different sub-sectors of the industry. Class members also bring geographic diversity, representing 21 Florida counties.
“The candidates selected for this program are already leaders in their respective industries,” said WLI Director Christy Chiarelli. “Our goal is enhance their leadership abilities and equip them to ensure a strong and adaptable Florida agriculture and natural resources industry for generations to come.”
Class XII members include:
- Lucy Abell, Abell Livestock Company, Venus
- Sydney Allison-Stoyka, IMG Citrus, Sebastian
- Miles Armstrong, BASF Agricultural Solutions, Palmetto
- Myles Basore, TKM-Bengard, Wellington
- Kim Bonner, Mabry Carlton Ranch, Sidell
- Daniel Bott, PGIM Agricultural Investments, Vero Beach
- Jake Brown, Tater Farms, Hastings
- Jason Chandler, Grimmway Farms, Mayo
- Krystin Chapman, The Development Group, Zolfo Springs
- Chance Clay, Clay Ranch, San Mateo
- Danny Collins, Duke Energy, Monticello
- Tiffany Dale, Florida Strawberry Growers Assn., Wauchula
- Tyler Duda, The Viera Company, Melbourne
- Cheryl Flood, Florida State Fair, Bartow
- Rachel Garland, Nutrien, White Springs
- Todd Gentry, Cherrylake Inc., Clermont
- Kyle Hill, H&C Harvesting, Apopka
- Kristen Hitchcock, Parkesdale Farms, Inc., Lakeland
- Rochelle James, No Worries Property Management, Royal Palm Beach
- Erin Jenkins Banas, Jenkins Landscape Company, Hobe Sound
- Jason Johnson, Wedgworth’s Inc., Sebring, FL
- Dan Kimble, Harplyn Inc., Bradenton, FL
- Nina Krause, Nuveen Natural Capital, Palm Beach Gardens
- Sandy McArthur, NG Wade, Jacksonville
- Riley McKenna, McKenna & Associates, Sebring
- Clay Pederson, Agromillora, Ocala
- Zak Seymour, Farm Credit of Florida, Gainesville
- John Small, Cal-Maine Foods, Okeechobee
- Janyel Taylor, Ralph Taylor’s Nurseries, Bradenton
- Caleb Van Wingerdan, SunBlest Gardens, Crawfordville
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 400 program alumni (inclusive of participants and their spouses), WLI has become a staple for developing agricultural leaders who will become increasingly involved in the policy formation process.
The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents.