• Special to The Sun

Wilson graduates from KALP

FROM LEFT are Dr. Will Snell, KALP co-director; Willie Wilson KALP Class XI graduate; Dr. Gary Palmer, University of Kentucky associate dean for Extension; and Dr. Steve Isaacs, KALP co-director. (Photo by Steve Patton, UK College of Agriculture, Food & Environment)

Willie Wilson of Woodford County graduated from the Kentucky Agriculture Leadership Program (KALP) on Sept. 7 at formal ceremonies held at Spindletop Hall in Lexington. Wilson is among 22 members of KALP Class XI. KALP, housed in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is an intensive two-year program for young agricultural producers and agribusiness individuals from Kentucky and Tennessee. Dating back to the mid-1980s, the program was originally named the Philip Morris Agricultural Development Leadership Program, though it was never commodity-specific. Philip Morris fully funded the first seven classes. Now financial supporters, including the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund, Kentucky agribusinesses, farm organizations, program alumni and participant tuition, provide funding. The program is not only about agriculture, but gives participants the tools to polish essential leadership skills, identify common rural and urban concerns, understand current public policy issues and establish a basis for lifelong learning and development. Class XI had 10 domestic seminars devoted to important agricultural issues. Sessions also focused on improving participants' communication, leadership and management skills. Class members visited a variety of Kentucky agribusinesses, Frankfort, Washington, D.C., California, Austria, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic to explore agriculture in different settings. Wilson works for Central Kentucky Agricultural Credit Association as a loan officer in the Lexington office. He graduated with a B.S. from the University of Kentucky. His wife, Kimberly Wilson, is a product manager with Neogen.

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