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3 local residents in new class for LEAD NY

Provided photo: The new class in LEAD NY is pictured at Camp Oswegatchie in Croghan, NY, during a Sept. 26-28 retreat that included introductions, teambuilding exercises and and introduction to leadership theory.

Staff Reports Posted 8 October 2019 at 3:49 pm

Three local residents are part of the new class for LEAD NY, a two-year program for agricultural and food leaders in the state.

Jessica Decker of Kendall (Quality Systems Manager for the Brockport plant of Bonduelle USA), Matthew Toussaint of Medina (Partner/Manager of Toussaint Farms LLC in Medina) and David Bittner of Lyndonville (Orchard manager for Bittner-Singer Orchards in Appleton) have been selected to participate in the intensive leadership development program.

LEAD New York, established 32 years ago as the Empire State Food and Agricultural Leadership Institute, has inspired nearly 500 graduates to take on leadership roles and make meaningful contributions in virtually every segment of the food, agricultural and natural resource industries of the Northeast.

LEAD New York consists of seminars, workshops, and field travel experiences both in and out of New York State, including a week-long international study trip. It is designed for women and men who provide leadership to the food, agricultural and natural resource industry. The program focuses on leadership skill development, self-awareness, civic engagement, a greater understanding of rural issues and cultivating leadership networks.

Participants enter the program with diverse backgrounds, goals and levels of leadership experience, but all share a common commitment to the future of New York’s food and agriculture system and rural communities. Through LEAD New York they will become immersed in the latest trends, issues, perceptions and technological advancements in food and agriculture and get hands-on experience through facility tours and face-to-face meetings with influential figures.

Class members improve leadership and communication skills including public speaking, meeting management, and effective listening while building valuable professional relationships. The program enhances an overall understanding of agriculture and our food system from production to consumption, allowing individuals to seek creative solutions to today’s problems and anticipate tomorrow’s needs.

For more information about LEAD New York, click here.

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