Each year, the soon-to-graduate AgForestry class thoughtfully nominates members of their cohort to be honored for their inspiration, their leadership and their community service.

The winners in each category are honored as part of the graduation ceremony which this year is
Friday, April 22 at the Pasco Red Lion. 

This year’s winners are, drum roll please……
Inspirational Award
In honor of Carol Mercer for her dedication and enthusiasm for the natural resource industries, her love and involvement in the leadership program, and her modeling of leadership. The award recognizes enthusiasm, empowerment, encouragement and inspiration, all traits Carol exhibited and that her fellow participants admired.
Class 42 Award Winner: Katie Tackman, Chelan County PUD, Fish and Wildlife Specialist, Wenatchee
Her cohort said: Katie goes out of her way to engage with AgForestry and build connections with classmates. Katie led with enthusiasm and has a tireless and empathetic spirit, lifting others with her words and energy. Her dedication to natural resources and her commitment to the leadership program are inspiring.
Leading Edge Leadership Award
In recognition of Karl and Lexie Kupers’ willingness to try new ideas, be innovative, and take risks. They provided creative, entrepreneurial ideas in leadership, dedication and enthusiasm for the natural resource industries all while pioneering new crops, farming practices, and marketing techniques. This award recognizes enthusiasm, innovative thinking, entrepreneurial spirit, and a willingness to take calculated risks and try new ideas, all traits exhibited by Karl and Lexie.
Class 42 Award Winner: Faith Van De Putte, Midnight’s Farm, Owner, Lopez Island
Her cohort said: Faith brings innovative ideas to agriculture--producing compost, advocating for biochar, and offering climate learning internships. She can think creatively and use ideas to innovate for natural resources. Faith is unwavering in her pursuit and implementation of environmentally-friendly farming and life practices: she talks the talk and walks the walk. Her passion for biochar is contagious and makes me think twice about my life practices.
 “Making a Difference” Community Service Award
In recognition of Jack Felgenhauer who exemplified leadership in the natural resource industries at the local, state, national, and international levels. Jack committed to public service and community involvement and used his leadership talents to give back. His commitment and financial support of AgForestry helps guarantee generations of leaders. This award recognizes leadership through service including being a role model for compassion, striving to positively impact and enrich lives and communities, and generously sharing one’s time and talent.
Class 42 Award Winner: Andrew Engell, Deputy District Director, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers’ Office, Colville
His cohort said: Andrew is guided by an instinct to help those around him. He gives voice to diverse stakeholders through his work, is highly engaged in his community and truly cares about others. He is one of those rare people who does not seek leadership but those around him see him as a leader and want him to lead plus, he is both positive and helpful.
Thanks to a pandemic and a fallow year Class 42 gets to graduate
on Friday, April 22 at the Pasco Red Lion.
 Reception starts at 5:00 and dinner with ceremony at 6:00.
To buy your tickets or sponsor a table, click here.
To reserve a hotel room, click here. 

Alumni, family, friends and colleagues are invited to celebrate, socialize and network. 
Meet new people. Learn new things. It’s what we do.  
AgForestry is the only program in Washington State with a focus on developing adult leaders in
agriculture, forestry and natural resources:
We cultivate leaders who communicate, collaborate, inspire, and serve.” 

Do you know someone who could be one of those leaders?
Send them our way: Referral form here  
Applications are open for Class 44 are open now through April 30. 

New this year, Q&A sessions so applicants can learn more: requirements, expectations, cost, available scholarships, and benefits.

Sign up for a Q&A session by clicking here.
The Class 44 seminar schedule here and a list of available scholarships here.
Steps to apply:
AgForestry is partnering with WSU in this semester’s Agriculture and Food Systems Capstone Project. Last week three alumni served as panelists, moderated by Hannah Poush, introducing the class to AgForestry and the need for leadership in agriculture and natural resources. Alumni included Brian Baumann (38), President, BMB Farm Inc. Washtucna; Hilary Aten (38), Associate Director, Washington Farmland Trust, Seattle; and Andrea Mann (15), retired, USDA NRCS, serves on Soil and Water Conservation District Board, Pendleton.
For their capstone project, six students will research: Attracting Next Generation Leaders. The goals of the project are:
-     Inform AgForestry leadership on characteristics and expectations of future generations.
-     Provide analysis of what could prevent AgForestry from providing a first-class leadership program in the future.
-     Help understand ‘Rules of Engagement’ for gathering and learning by future generations.
-     Present research on how current generation experiences leadership and how they learn and build community.  
-     Capture insights to inform evaluation of AgForestry’s current methods and/or strategies.
-     Provide specific recommendations for policies and practices.
Coordinated by the Washington Forest Protection Association, seminar objectives included familiarization with structure and operation of state government: legislative, judicial, and executive branches; how bills become laws; leadership skills to be effective in public policy; and dialogues with legislators, agency directors, and other policy leaders.

The cohort seminar outline included:
-     Responsibilities of State Agencies
-     Supreme Court 101
-     State Budget and Forecasting and How the Budget Shapes Public Policy
-     Role of Legislative Staff
-     Legislative Perspective from Ag and Natural Resources Leadership and Tribes
-     How a Bill Becomes a Law and the Role of a Lobbyist
-     Impact of COVID Restrictions
-     Influencing Public Policy and the Role of Trade Associations

Special Thank You to: WFPA and Cindy Mitchell (Class 16); Heather Hansen (Class 17), Bruce Beckett (Class 16), and Jason Callahan
AgForestry just completed the third and last session on gaining understanding of different conflict styles, how we learn about conflict early in life and how that can impact the way we handle conflict as adults, and gaining tools for emotional agility. 

If you missed them or want a refresher, all recordings with slides and the participant workbook are available:
WHAT WE’RE READING: The Art of Gathering
Hannah enjoyed the audio version.
Hannah Poush (38), Program Director is reading Priya Parker’s book which challenges us to expand our curiosity about the way things are done and to be more purposeful, more intentional. From personal to professional gatherings, this book has us rethinking why and how to bring people together. We are anxious to implement concepts at future program seminars to enhance how we facilitate reflection, dialogue, growth, and community within classes.

A quote: “Having a purpose simply means knowing why you’re gathering and doing your participants the honor of being convened for a reason. And once you have that purpose in mind, you will suddenly find it easier to make all the decisions that a gathering requires.”
Friday, April 22 in Pasco

Braver Angels 3 hr Workshop on Depolarizing Conversation about Race
Date will be announced soon!
Golf - East Tournament
Friday, May 20 at the Walla Walla Wine Golf Course

Golf - West Tournament
Friday, August 26 at The Home Course in Dupont
Adam (40) & Hannah (38) Poush
Adams County Assn. of Wheat Growers
Alisa (28) & Raul De Leon
Andy Paterson (6)
Anne Morrell (29)
Audrey Gravley (21)
Barb (35) & Brian Meyer
Bruce (34) & Christine Mackey
Bryan (9) & Brenda Alford
Carey Hunter (25) & Albert Roberts (20)
Catherine Daniels (22)
Claudia Coles (14)
Dave (1) & Jan Roseleip
Dave (17) & Pat Malsed
David (24) & M.J. Chain
Debbie Young (25) & Bruce Dunlop (25)
Dennis (15) & Susan McDonald
Denny (8) & Kathy Hayden
Dick (4) & Gail Pierson
Don (3) & Dori Ferrel
Don (3) & Vicki Underhill
Donelle Mahan (29)
G.S. Long Co., Inc.
Glen (14) & Carolyn Goodman
Greg (10) & Colleen Jones
Gretchen Lech (36) & Gary Brookshire
Herold (5) & Vicki Peebles
Jack (19) & Patty Yorgesen
Jim (5) & Ruth Youngsman
Jim (7) & Barbara Rochelle
Joe (32) & Lynn Harlington
John (28) & Carol O'Callaghan
John (7) & Laura Lawrence
Julie Dieu (22)
Justin (41) & April Becker
Kai Ottesen (32)
Karen Bishop (20)
Karen Temen (22) & Wesley Wasson 
Kimberly Carrosino
Kristin Watts
Kristine (37) & Tony Meyer
Loftus Ranches LLC
Lynda (16) & Jack Pheasant
Mark (37) & Debbie (40) Wieseler
Mark (8) & Sharla Wagoner
Mary (20) & Brian Williams Raines
Matt (31) & Jodi Comisky
Melvin Hall (31)
Mike Pink
Nancy Boettcher (5)
NCW Fieldmen’s Assn.
Norm (9) & Helen Schaaf
Orville (30) & Jamie Mowry
Pam Coleman (32) & Alan Cooke
Patti Playfair (32)
Pete (18) & Debbie Granger
Rick (3) & Susan Brathovde
Rob Thornton (30)
Roger (1) & Lou Ann Knutzen
Ryan (24) & Annje Esvelt
Ryan Williams (40)
Sandra Marcusen (31)
Scot (13) & Mary Cocking
Scott (22) & Lynn Swanson
Stu (13) & Sheree Trefry
Sunheaven Farms
Tippett Company
Tom (25) & Maureen Bryant
Tom Fox (19)
Washington Fruit & Produce Company
Washington State Tree Fruit Assn.
Wendy (23) & Chris Sammarco
Yakima Pomological Club

Employee Matching through Manulife Investment Management
Kimberly Carrosino
Gretchen Lech (36)