KARL Applications Accepted Through April 15

Ninth class will be named in June; begin in earnest this fall.

Officials of the Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership program have announced that applications close April 15 for those interested in participating in the 2007-2009 Class IX.

The two-year program – which includes state, national and international tours – begins in August with a weekend retreat.

Eligibility is based on leadership experience and a devotion to the future of Kansas agriculture and Kansas' rural communities, according to program director Jack Lindquist.

"A dedication to a more positive future is key to selection," Lindquist says. "Current class members and alumni agree that the 50 day commitment over a two year period of time is not only well worth the investment but needed in today's competitive and changing environment."

A recent class member reflected on his thoughts during the last application process. Terry Hobbs of Graham County says, "The KARL program has always fascinated me. The positive direction and doors it has opened for many leaders in the ag industry has and continues to be a very beneficial endeavor. I felt honored to be nominated and considered for the KARL program. I knew that it would not only be an asset personally, but to my family and community as well. I believe there is often a trickle down effect."

Hobbs says that through his affiliation with others involved in KARL, a spark or idea learned is often passed along or shared by others and can make an impact elsewhere. The KARL program builds and strengthens the character of an individual, he adds.

"But looking at a bigger picture these individuals can be the mortar and building blocks to making our state and nation even stronger," Hobbs explains.

Applicants must complete a profile form that will be reviewed by KARL's board of directors. An on-line application is available at www.karlprogram.com, or interested persons may request an application by calling the KARL office at (785) 532-6300.

Applicants will undergo a screening process to select up to 45 candidates who will then be invited for personal interviews in May, Lindquist said. The ninth class of 30 members will be named in June.

Each class consists of 30 individuals. The tuition fee for participants is $1,250 per year, or a total of $2,500. KARL donors pay for the remainder of the experience which is valued at $12,500 cost per person.

According to Lindquist, seminars and tours are generally balanced during production agriculture's 'off-season', from November through March, including the national and international study tours. The monthly in-state seminars typically are held over a 48-hour period. New for Class IX is the seminar, Blue Chip, which includes a study tour to the headquarters of an internationally successful fortune 500 company.

For more information, including how to donate to KARL, Inc., the not for profit organization that oversees the KARL Program, contact the program's main office on the Kansas State University campus at 785-532-6300.

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