Twenty-six professionals have been selected for the Governor Dolph Briscoe Jr. Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership Program, or TALL, as Cohort XVII.
TALL is a two-year program led by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and provides an intensive study of agriculture worldwide in order to equip agriculture industry professionals to lead their fields, said Jim Mazurkiewicz, Ph.D., program director, College Station.
“TALL is a competitive leadership development program that includes seminars with experts, on-site visits, meetings with business and government leaders, international study and personal skills improvement,” Mazurkiewicz said.
With the agriculture industry constantly facing new and unique challenges, Mazurkiewicz said TALL graduates provide a pool of proven leaders who can provide leadership, insight, knowledge and direction to ensure agriculture is viable in the future.
“The program invests 470 hours of intensive training per person through seminars, speakers and domestic and international study trips over two years,” he said. “It’s equivalent to class time spent obtaining a master’s degree in agriculture. Former Gov. Dolph Briscoe Jr. always said, ‘at least 10 years’ experience is needed to reach the educational level of TALL graduates.”
Participants are represented from a cross-section of professional interests including traditional crop producers, ranchers, bankers and attorneys, as well those who work in lumber, food processing, agricultural corporations and horticultural industries from all geographic regions of Texas.
TALL XVII Cohort members for 2020-2022 are:
- Giovana Benitez, Edinburg, Hildago County.
- Randall Carpenter, Earth, Lamb County.
- Christi Chadwell Short, Rochester, Haskell County.
- Matt Clifton, Lufkin, Angelina County.
- Tyler Cross, Corpus Christi, Nueces County.
- Andrew Dusek, Bryan, Brazos County.
- Carmen Fenton, Amarillo, Randall County.
- Kate Fred, Shamrock, Wheeler County.
- Lance Gilliland, Stephenville, Erath County.
- Mary Gonzalez, Clint, El Paso County.
- James “Brennen” Johnson, Ropesville, Hockley County.
- Katy Kemp, Bridgeport, Wise County.
- Blair Krebs, College Station, Brazos County.
- John Leifester, San Antonio, Bexar County.
- Emily Lochner, Waco, McLennan.
- John “Chris” Looney, Gainesville, Cooke County.
- Stephen Loyd, Mertzon, Schleicher County.
- Bryson McCarty, Littlefield, Lamb County.
- Samuel Nesbitt, Wolfforth, Lubbock County.
- Joe Patranella, College Station, Brazos County.
- Andrew Polk, Fort Worth, Tarrant County.
- Charles “Chaz” Rutledge, Canadian, Lipscomb County.
- Isaac Sulemana, Sullivan City, Hidalgo County.
- Stefen Tucker, Lubbock, Lubbock County.
- Travis Ward, Dallas, Denton County.
- Steven White, Lubbock, Lubbock County.