Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership (TALL), the prestigious leadership development program of Texas Cooperative Extension, is currently accepting applications for the TALL VIII class.

The goal of the program is to increase the capacity of volunteer leaders in agriculture to deal creatively with change so they can improve the quality of life in their communities and work places.

“Given the critical issues facing agriculture today, there is a need to provide intensive leadership development experiences for a promising new generation of leaders,” said Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz, TALL cordinator. TALL classes have included farmers, ranchers, communicators, chemists, business professionals and many other women and men from across the state.

“The TALL program increases knowledge and understanding of agriculture and related industries in the context of today's complex economic, political and social systems,” explained Mazurkiewicz. “Participants also learn the processes of organizational decision making and the role of political institutions, and they acquire a greater appreciation of how agriculture must interact with society as a whole.”

This is a two-year program, and only 25 applicants for the TALL VIII class will be chosen. Tuition is $1,500. Seminars, tours and homework are required in the course load. Participants will have eight sessions during that period. Destinations include parts of Texas, Mexico, Washington D.C., New York, Canada and Africa.

Applicants must be actively involved in farming, ranching or agribusiness.

Men and women are equally encouraged to participate, and preference will be given to those between the ages of 25 and 45.

Candidates applying for admission must indicate their reasons for wanting to participate in TALL and must have demonstrated leadership potential and willingness to serve in decision-making roles upon completing the program.

“Applicants must demonstrate the ability to meaningfully participate in academic seminars, outside reading, written assignments and by beingable to express themselves well during the selection interview,” Mazurkiewicz said.

For more information on the TALL program, its history and calendar of events, visit the Web site at http://tall.tamu.edu.