Twenty-four individuals have been named to Class 43 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program, an advanced leadership development program for emerging agricultural leaders. The new class will be inaugurated on Oct. 18 at California State University, Fresno.

Class 43 fellows are Vance Ahlem, Denair; Manpreet Bains, Yuba City; Anthony Bozzano, San Luis Obispo; Carson Britz, Guadalupe; Danielle Burk, San Luis Obispo; Sona Chilingaryan, San Francisco; Jensen Devaurs, Bakersfield; Bailey DiIoia, Summerland; Danielle Dupree, Salinas; Leon Etchepare, Maxwell; Stephanie Etcheverria, Sacramento; Eric Genzoli, Turlock; Tricia Geringer, Sacramento; Heidi Harris, Hoopa; Susan Josue, Oxnard; Scott Klittich, Fillmore; Anthony Laney, Live Oak; Shannon Leigh, Monterey; Bill Lewis, Fresno; Jim McGarry, Lompoc; Helen McGrath, Sebastopol; Paul Sousa, Modesto; William “B” VanBeek, Tipton; and Chris White, Los Banos.   (Names of companies/organizations on page 2).

Operated by the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF), the Ag Leadership Program is considered to be one of the premier leadership development experiences in the United States.During the intensive 16-month program, fellows will study leadership theory, strategic agility, effective communication, motivation, critical thinking, change management, emotional intelligence, and complex social and cultural issues.

Monthly seminars rotate between Cal Poly, Pomona; Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; California State University, Fresno; and the University of California, Davis. Additional segments are provided by Santa Clara University and National Defense University in Washington, D.C. Fellows participate in a 10-day national travel seminar during the first year and a 15-day international travel seminar during the second year.

“There is a constant need for smart, effective and passionate leaders,” said CALF President and CEO Bob Gray. “The important skills and lessons the fellows learn in the Ag Leadership Program will enhance their leadership capabilities and strengths. They will benefit and better serve the agricultural industry, their businesses, organizations and communities.”

CALF invests about $45,000 per fellow to participate in the program, which is underwritten by individual and industry donations.

Since it was first delivered in 1970, more than 1,100 men and women have participated in the Ag Leadership Program and have become influential leaders and active volunteers in agriculture, government, communities, business and education.

Class 43 Fellows

  • Vance Ahlem, Ahlem Foothill Farms G.P., Denair
  • Manpreet Bains, Manseena Orchards, Yuba City
  • Anthony Bozzano, Thornhill Ranches, San Luis Obispo
  • Carson Britz, Apio, Inc., Guadalupe
  • Danielle Burk, Farm Supply Company, San Luis Obispo
  • Sona Chilingaryan, EPA, San Francisco
  • Jensen Devaurs, Driscoll’s Strawberry Associates, Bakersfield
  • Bailey DiIoia, Shade Farm Management, Summerland
  • Danielle Dupree, Merrill Farms LLC, Salinas
  • Leon Etchepare, Emerald Farms, Maxwell
  • Stephanie Etcheverria, California Foundation for Ag in the Classroom, Sacramento
  • Eric Genzoli, Genzoli Almond Farms, Turlock
  • Tricia Geringer, Agricultural Council of California, Sacramento
  • Heidi Harris, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Hoopa
  • Susan Josue, Solimar Farms, Inc., Oxnard
  • Scott Klittich, Otto & Sons Nursery, Fillmore
  • Anthony Laney, Twin Peaks Agriculture, Inc., Live Oak
  • Shannon Leigh, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., Monterey
  • Bill Lewis, Prudential Agriculture Investments, Fresno
  • Jim McGarry, Atlas Vineyard Management, Inc., Lompoc
  • Helen McGrath, Ag Innovations Network, Sebastopol
  • Paul Sousa, Western United Dairymen, Modesto
  • William “B” VanBeek, Dairyland Farms, Tipton
  • Chris White, Central California Irrigation District, Los Banos