LUBBOCK, Texas - A valuable training opportunity for tomorrow's peanut industry leaders is now available to Texas producers. The Peanut Leadership Program, sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection, is calling for nominations for Class IV.

This program is a cooperative effort between Syngenta Crop Protection, grower organizations and agricultural extension. Participants are nominated by agricultural leaders in their counties and then selected by a committee of state leaders.

The program began in 1998 with the first class of 14 peanut growers from Alabama, Florida and Georgia. In its fourth class, the program is expanding to also include peanut growers from Texas.

The main objective of the Leadership Program is to provide intensive training opportunities, develop and improve leadership skills and industry understanding for Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Texas peanut growers.

"Programs like this definitely give the participants an edge and help potential leaders become more effective in representing members of their state organizations and the peanut industry as a whole," said Otis Lee Johnson, chairman of the Texas Peanut Producers Board.

The Peanut Leadership Program Class IV will begin in the fall of 2004 and continue for two years. Applications are due to the state grower organization by July 1, 2004.

Peanut growers interested in participating in the next leadership class should contact Texas Peanut Producers Board, (806) 687-6363. Information on the Leadership Program and an application are available on-line at www.gapeanuts.com/leadership .

e-mail: rsmith@primediabusiness.com