Developing future leaders for agriculture

Dec 24, 2014

Opportunity for people to learn how to make a difference within a community


By Shannon Little, University of Guelph Agricultural Communications Student, for

Recruitment is underway for the next class of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP), an initiative designed to mould future leaders for Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food sectors and rural communities.

This program is delivered by the Rural Ontario Institute. It was originally developed to help rural community leaders acquire key leadership skills. It continues to develop and support both the leaders of today and tomorrow.

“AALP has helped me improve my leadership skills so I can face the challenges in the different industries as I interact with different geographies as well as different political sectors,” says, current participant Samantha Stevens.

AALP has been operating since 1985 to help current and emerging leaders build stronger relationships in the agriculture industry and shape the future of the Ontario agriculture and the agri-food industry. Participants’ involvement  in this program provides them the opportunity to become more knowledgeable about the social and economic issues facing rural and urban Ontario.

This program is designed to inspire leaders so that they can take the knowledge and the skills they have learned from the program and their North American and international study tours to enhance and expand their networks across the agriculture, agri-food and rural sectors.

It is also an opportunity for people to learn how to make a difference within a community.

“Success is in its reputation,” said Stevens.

 Term after term, people apply who care about the agriculture industry and want to improve their public speaking, project management and networking skills, as well as acquire a better understanding of e how the Ontario agricultural industry works. Further developing these skills will help improve the future of Ontario agriculture and the agri-food industry and rural communities across Ontario.

Recruitment is right around the corner. Those who want to improve their leadership and become an AGvocate (an advocate for agriculture) may want to consider AALP .  

More information is available at


Shannon Little, lives on a cash crop farm in Monkton, Ontario, which also has a small trucking business. Shannon is studying in her third year at the University of Guelph, completing her Bachelor Degree in Ag. Honors.  In her spare time, she enjoys horseback riding, participating in numerous community events, competitive plowing, as well as helping out around the family farm. With her family running a small trucking business, Shannon has had the opportunity to drive transport, which she plans to continue to do after completing her degree.  This article is part of Shannon’s course work for the University of Guelph agricultural communications course, instructed by Prof. Owen Roberts.