A group of 10 outstanding young farm and ranch leaders have been selected by the American Farm Bureau Federation as the organization’s eighth Partners in Agricultural Leadership class. PAL is designed to help agricultural leaders accelerate their leadership abilities and solidify their roles as advocates for agriculture.

“The new PAL class represents the very ‘best of the best’ among today’s farmers, ranchers and agri-business professionals,” AFBF President Bob Stallman said. “We look forward to working with them as they embark on an exciting journey that will equip them as vital contributors to our agricultural outreach efforts.”

Members of PAL Class 8 are: Jeremy Barron, Indiana; Jennifer Bergin, Montana; Dr. Emily Buck, Ohio; Terisha Driggs, Arizona; Cameron Edwards, Kentucky; Brian Marshall, Missouri; Chris Pollack, Wisconsin; Derek Sawyer, Kansas; Scott Sink, Virginia; and Julie White, Mississippi.

To be eligible for the PAL program, applicants must have previously developed leadership skills built through participating in at least one Young Farmers & Ranchers program. This includes AFBF competitive events: Discussion Meet (“Sweet 16” finalist), Achievement Award (top 10 finalist) and Excellence in Agriculture Award (top 10 finalist). Retired members of the AFBF YF&R Committee and retired chairs of state Farm Bureau YF&R Committees also are eligible to apply.

PAL training involves four learning modules designed to develop specific leadership skills while exploring components of leadership and its theories and philosophies. The modules build on one another over the two years of the program and include intense, in-person, hands-on training.

AFBF created the PAL curriculum as a high-level, executive training program that prepares participants to represent agriculture in the media, in public speaking, in congressional testimony and other advocacy arenas. Program graduates are given opportunities to step forward and promote awareness about issues important to farmers and consumers. The PAL program is sponsored by AFBF, the Farm Credit System and Monsanto Co.