Agricultural leadership class touring East Texas ag industry

Published on Saturday, 1 February 2014 21:41 - Written by By Chad Gulley Extension Agent

The Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership (TALL) class came through East Texas recently on its bi-annual tour of the East Texas Agriculture industry. The tour was coordinated by the Build East Texas Committee (BET).

Established in 1963, the Build East Texas Program actively supports community and economic development and other activities in a 37 county area to improve the quality of life for all citizens of East Texas. BET works closely with the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension center in Overton to support agricultural research, education and technical assistance, as well as to develop the leadership capabilities of citizens, promote the implementation of modern technology in agriculture, and to interact with other local, state, and federal agencies and organizations in East Texas.

TALL is a competitive leadership development program designed for men and women in the early stages of their career. The class consists of 26 people who come from every sector of agriculture and all parts of Texas The two-year program includes seminars with experts and on-site tours throughout Texas, the United States and other countries.

The TALL program enables participants from all aspects of the agricultural community to increase knowledge and understanding of agriculture, acquire a greater appreciation of how agriculture must interact with society as a whole, and develop skills necessary for leadership roles at local, state and national levels.

In total, TALL spends 455 hours of intensive training per person (the equivalent of 38 credit hours) which is equivalent to the same amount of training to receive a Masters of Ag degree from any accredited university.

TALL has eight seminars with 45 days of intense training, with over 300 speakers which includes guest speakers, current leaders, tours, on-site visits, receptions, discussions and leadership course work.

Class XIII of the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership program held its East Texas agriculture seminar the week of Jan. 20. During the visit to Tyler, the class began their tour at Cavender’s Boot City to be fitted with cowboy hats donated by Stetson and Resistol. The tour continued with visits to a rose growing and packing operation, a large plant farm, commercial cattle and horse operation, John Soules Foods, Brookshire’s Grocery Company and Color Spot Nursery.

The class traveled to Nacogdoches to learn more about poultry industry at the SFA Poultry Research Center then visit the Pilgrims Poultry Processing Plant.

The class learned about various aspects of the timber industry and a logging operation, the Temple-Inland Saw Mill, the Sabine National Forest, and finally the Piney Woods Conservation Center on the Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

For more information about the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership program, access the website at Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.