Applications for the Rice Leadership Development program must be received by Oct. 6. Rice producers and others in industry-related occupations are encouraged to apply for the next class, which will be announced in December at the USA Rice Outlook Conference in Orlando, FL.

The Rice Leadership Development Program gives young men and women a comprehensive understanding of the U.S. rice industry, with an emphasis on personal development and communications training. During a two-year period, class members attend four one-week sessions designed to strengthen leadership skills.

The Rice Leadership Development class is comprised of five rice producers and two industry-related professionals. A committee of agribusiness leaders evaluates the applications, reviews letters of recommendation and conducts personal interviews with the finalists. Candidates must be 25-45 years of age at the time of application and derive their primary livelihood from some aspect of the rice industry.

The program — sponsored by John Deere Company and Syngenta America through a grant to the Rice Foundation — is managed by the USA Rice Federation.

For more information and an application or recommendation form, see the USA Rice Web site’s “Leadership Program Information” page.