⋅ BY DEBORAH WILLENBORG ⋅
The Rice Leadership Development Program gives future leaders a comprehensive understanding of the rice industry, with an emphasis on personal development and communication skills. The class attends four one-week sessions over a two-year period that encompasses studies of all aspects of the rice industry through firsthand observations. They also attend seminars and workshops designed to strengthen leadership skills.
The Rice Foundation will be accepting applications for the Rice Leadership Development Program until September 8, 2023.
To be eligible for the Rice Leadership Development Program applicants must derive their primary livelihood as rice producers or from a rice industry-related profession or firm, including rice mills, rice product marketers, sales officials, suppliers, dryers, Extension services, research facilities, etc. Participants from the industry-related category must serve the rice industry in their primary job responsibility. Applicants must be between the ages of 25 to 45 at the time of application.
All applicants will receive notification on whether they are selected as a finalist. All finalists must be available for personal interviews conducted by the Rice Leadership Selection Committee in conjunction with the USA Rice Outlook Conference in Indian Wells, California, in early December 2023.
The 2024-2026 Rice Leadership Development Class will be announced at the Annual Awards Luncheon at the USA Rice Outlook Conference. A special committee of rice industry and agribusiness leaders evaluate applications and letters of recommendation and conduct personal interviews to determine the four to five rice producers and two to three individuals from rice industry-related professions who will make up the Rice Leadership Development Class.
The program has been in existence for more than 30 years and most of the current leaders of the rice industry are alumni of the program.
The Rice Leadership Development Program is funded by grants from John Deere Company, RiceTec, and American Commodity Company to The Rice Foundation. USA Rice develops and manages the program on behalf of The Rice Foundation.