Arizona's Center for Rural Leadership, or Project CENTRL, has begun its 28th year-long class training potential leaders about the needs and economics of rural Arizona.
Sixteen participants were competitively selected for Class 28, which held its first seminar June 7-8 at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel in Chandler, Ariz. Project CENTRL Class 28 will continue meeting over the next 12 months participating in nine seminars including The Fundamentals of Leadership, Effective Communication, Emerging Trends in Rural Arizona, Public Policy in Arizona, taking trips to Mexico and Washington, D.C. and more, according to a news release.
The program culminates with a team project and presentation entitled “Make A Difference,” where class graduates address how they would help resolve and solve some of Arizona’s key issues and challenges.
Among the enrollees is David Edmunds, who joined the Arizona Cotton Research and Protection Council in 2018 to expand and further develop the AF36 Program that works to prevent aflatoxins in crops.
The program "is all about cultivating passionate educated leaders who provide a voice for and serve rural communities in Arizona," Edmunds tells Western Farm Press in an email.
A diverse class
"We are a diverse class, just some of the organizations and industries we represent are: the Arizona Cotton Research & Protection Council, Arizona Western College, USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, Arizona Nationals Livestock Board, Tribal Agriculture, Salt River Project, and Arizona Department of Agriculture," he says.
The Phoenix-based Project CENTRL equips and empowers leaders to promote healthy, vibrant and sustainable rural communities. The project has trained over 650 Arizona leaders since 1983, its organizers say.
The Chandler seminar enabled new members to identify mentors, as the venue was also the final seminar and graduation ceremony for the outgoing Class 27 of Project CENTRL. Board members and Project CENTRL alumni from across the State celebrated the completion and accomplishments of Class 27 while welcoming the incoming Class of 28 at a festive banquet of fine food and music. Scott Koenig, MBA and alumnus of Class 21, serves at the program's fifth executive director based at the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension.
Project CENTRL is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to improving the development of Arizona’s rural leaders and establishing a network of problem-solvers, decision makers and spokespersons for rural Arizona. Visit www.centrl.org for more information.