Did you know that Arizona Farm Bureau’s Andy Kurtz was one of the founding visionaries in creating the Arizona Center for Rural Leadership? He helped rally all of Arizona Agriculture to partner, create and launch the first class of Project CENTRL in 1983 to equip and empower leaders to meet the needs of rural Arizona. Since then, several Arizona Farm Bureau members, volunteer leadership and staff have been transformed through this program. 

Today, you are encouraged to consider and help find farmers and ranchers to join the over 700 alumni who are making a difference in rural Arizona communities by applying for Class 32. It is a competitively selected and tuition free experiential-learning leadership development program. Over the course of nine seminars across Arizona, Washington, DC and Sonora, Mexico participants build personal leadership skills, learn about the issues facing rural Arizona and connect with leaders and experts. For example, in Prescott, participants give on-camera and in-studio TV interviews and learn to write short, effective speeches. 

“I had Farm Bureau members in my Class 9,” shares the Center’s Board Chair, Glenna McCollum-Could a consultant and Past President of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “And as I’ve stayed involved with CENTRL as a volunteer and trainer, I’ve seen Farm Bureau members both teach others about the importance of production agriculture and learn new perspectives from their classmates who are involved with other parts of the rural economy.” 

The CENTRL curriculum is designed to meet you where you are in your leadership journey and provide the personal tools, increase knowledge across several rural issues and strengthen your network. In Yuma for example, they learn first-hand about the immigration issues from the people working on it every day. As a public-private partnership between the non-profit Center and the University of Arizona Division of Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences and Cooperative Extension participants and alumni are backed by organizations invested in and committed to rural Arizona.  

Detailed program information and an application packet are available online at www.centrl.org/apply Additionally, you contact Executive Director, Scott Koenig a graduate of Class 21 at 602-827-8227 or scott@centrl.org Applicants must be at least 25 years of age by June 2023 and a full-time resident of Arizona. All application materials are due on March 15, 2023.  The organization will be celebrating 40 Years of Making a Difference for Rural Arizona at the CENTRL Celebration June 2nd of this year at Wild Horse Pass! Save the Date and Plan to join us!