September 2021 Newsletter
Leadership Program Update
At long last, we are kicking off a new academic year! Class 42 will gather in-person in Moses Lake next week, with Class 43 heading to Pullman just a few weeks later!

The first seminar after the summer break always has an element of team building and regrouping the cohort. This year, with the class being off for more than a year, we knew we needed to provide extra time to come back together. To allow the group a laid-back opportunity to get reacquainted, while still increasing their understanding of agriculture in Washington state, Class 42 will begin its seminar by competing in the inaugural Ag Olympics! Class members will compete individually and on teams in a series of agriculture related contests.

We are thankful to the following partners for each sponsoring a contest!
Once they’ve settled the scores in the Olympics, the class will be joined by long time water advocate and recipient of the Stu Bledsoe Award, Alice Parker. Alice will share leadership lessons learned over her decades of work with the Columbia Basin Project.

The day will finish out with a wine tasting… smoke tainted wine that is! Tom Collins with the WSU Wine Science Center will provide the tasting and discussion of the impact of wildfire smoke on the state’s wine grapes. Errant Cellars in Quincy has generously opened their entire space to host Wednesday’s events.

Thursday morning, the class will be on farmer’s hours with an early bus boarding to tour the region, followed by a panel discussion and a chance to meet the Board of Directors. Special thanks to Rebecca Sterner (Class 39) and Travis Meacham (Class 33) of Friehe Farms for putting together an entire day of area tours including farms, irrigation sites, and processing.

We’ll finish the seminar on Friday morning with a series of panels and speakers, highlighting challenges and priorities of various commodity producers.

Hannah Poush (Class 38)
Program Director
Building a Plan to Build Leaders of the Future
Much has changed since AgForestry’ s first leadership class 43 years ago. Whether building leaders in today’s environment or navigating COVID mandates, every organization must continue to evolve in response, intentionally positioning itself to be relevant, effective and impactful in the drive to fulfill its mission.
Starting in 2020, AgForestry staff held extensive stakeholder interviews with findings presented at the annual meeting that year. The interviews uncovered perceptions and insights about AgForestry’s operating environment, target market, and the organization itself. The outcome was an agreement to update the strategic plan. The Board contracted consulting services to facilitate a multi-month, multi-step strategic planning process that began in February. Expectations were clarified, and a plan of action was set in motion. 
The planning process was purposefully structured over many months to allow time to gather information and analyze findings including:

•          External environment changes and trends
•          Internal infrastructure (of AgForestry)
•          Market perceptions and needs
From April through June consultants worked with staff compiling information into three concise “scans” of AgForestry’ s operating environment, market, and internal infrastructure. Plus, the outcomes of the 2020 stakeholder interviews were incorporated, as was a probing review of organizational operations along with results of a facilitated focus group made up of a sampling of AgForestry’s target market. In July and August, Board members continued work on the scans with their additional insights and observations. 
Now, consultants are in the process of analyzing the gathered information and transitioning into “critical issue” identification. Using all collected information, the Board has started to identify the “critical issues” that must be addressed and will discuss as a group in a work session this month. In October the Board tackles core principles, goals and measurable objectives all of which allows the Board to make strategic decisions that will guide AgForestry into the future—intentionally and with eyes wide open.

Vicky Scharlau (Class 10)
Interim Executive Director
Last week, AgForestry announced that Vicky Scharlau would serve as interim executive director until the strategic planning process has been completed. Click here to read the full announcement. To see the June 25 announcement about the departure of Matt Kloes, please click here.
Getting to Know Class 43
Program Manager Lindsey Williams is preparing to welcome the members of Class 43 to their first seminar in Pullman next month. The class has already learned a lesson in patience as the program start date was pushed back a full year. We continue to meet this class in our monthly profiles.
Positivity! That is what Jordan brings to Amway/Nutrilite as Operations Manager, and what he is ready to bring to Class 43. Jordan enjoys traveling in Washington, especially to the Skagit Valley during tulip season. He is excited about traveling internationally after hearing about previous class experiences. While he might be a little nervous about the looming public policy project, we know that his ability to see the upside and get through anything will be a useful skill with team members.

We can’t wait to watch you put a positive spin on your project, Jordan!
Darcy Batura, a lifelong Washington resident and Forest Partnerships Manager for The Nature Conservancy, is ready to bring her focus on community-based work to AgForestry Class 43. Darcy recognizes that changing policy without changing hearts and minds is not always effective. She is excited to learn from others about their own values and beliefs – something she experienced as part of the Yakima Basin Salmon Recovery Board.

We’re eager to see you exercise your skills and watch your network grow over the course of the program, Darcy!
Register for the AgForestry Annual Meeting
The AgForestry Annual Meeting is Thursday, October 28, at Noon

Join us to learn about the innovations that AgForestry has made over the last year. Attendees will hear the latest in the strategic planning process and meet the newest board members. This meeting will again be held online to allow greater participation from across the state.

We will also be joined by Dr. Jeffrey McCausland of Diamond6 Leadership & Strategy, who will preview one of the new experiences Class 43 will receive during the National Seminar with a talk on Leadership in Four Directions.
You lead in four directions - no matter your title.
You lead yourself.
You lead your peers. 
You lead others.
And you lead your boss.
The key to success is leading in ALL these directions consciously, confidently, and consistently.

In this talk you will learn about the fundamental leadership strategies of each direction, reflect on your own leadership experiences and how to continually improve your skills, network with leaders in your organization, and develop your own personal blueprint for leadership success!
Alumni Accomplishments
Congratulations to AgForestry Class 33 alumni Travis Keatley, who has been named as Weyerhaeuser's new Senior Vice President of Timberlands.
Celebration of Life
Linda North was a great friend to AgForestry. She graduated with Class 12, but made a lasting impact on so many others who have gone through the program. Linda passed away last October at her home in Oregon. Her family would like to extend an invitation to celebrate Linda's life and legacy.

Linda North Celebration of Life
Saturday, October 16, at 2 p.m.
Desert Wind Winery
2258 Wine Country Road, Prosser
A block of rooms has been reserved at the Holiday Inn.

If you would like to share a favorite photo or story about Linda, please email it to

AgForestry was near and dear to Linda’s heart and in recognition of this, there is an endowment account established in Linda’s name.
Network Job Opportunities
Hancock Forest Management has an opening for a Silviculture Forester, based in Cathlamet, Wash. This person will be responsible for planning, coordinating, supervising, and implementing forest management projects and programs in a team environment. Visit for additional details.
The Whidbey Island Conservation District is seeking an education professional who has a passion for, and experience in, inspiring land stewardship and natural resource conservation. The Natural Resource Educator position is part-time with opportunity to expand in the future. Visit for additional details.
Does your company or organization have natural resource employment opportunities?
Send them to
August Donors
Stu (15) & Janet Fraser
Mandy (32) & Scott Galbreath
Heather Hansen (17)
Matt (36) & Erin Kloes
Troy (33) & Holly Little
Bryon (7) & Donna Loucks
Sarah (31) & Dan Mcclure
Monson Fruit Company
Alice Parker
Chuck (16) & Sharon (20) Podlich
Vicky Scharlau (10)
Mark (10) & Ginger Schoesler
Faith Van De Putte (42) & David Bill
Wash. Conservation Commission
Wash. Dept. of Natural Resources
Wash. Potato Commission
Gareth (40) & Emily Waugh

In Memory of Tedd Nealy (1)
Jack (1) & Geri DeWitt
Karl (3) & Lexie Kupers
Dave (1) & Jan Roseleip

In Memory of Roger Calhoun
Tom (10) & Mary Robbert
Dave (1) & Jan Roseleip