Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program TCALP
The Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program (TCALP) is the premier educational and personal development opportunity for emerging leaders in the agriculture industry in Mississippi. Through a series of rigorous seminars, class members will develop team building skills including collaboration and conflict management, and they will enhance their communication and professionalism abilities. Participants will gain exposure to successful and innovative businesses to improve economic literacy and community decision-making practices, and they will sharpen their awareness of policy-making and legislative processes through governmental analysis coupled with an investigation of influence. Class members will deepen their understanding of the full realm of agriculture and rural development to support vibrant communities, creating a vision for the future of Mississippi.
TCALP will consist of nine seminars presented over the course of twenty-two months. Each seminar will contain a balance of concentrated, rigorous curriculum, challenging class members to refine and practice their learned leadership skills, and specific, in-depth exposure to agricultural production and agribusiness in Mississippi, the U.S., and around the world. In addition, class members will expand their personal and professional network, interacting with each other over the course of the program, along with the facilitators, guest speakers, policymakers, program alumni, advisory council members, and many more.
Class members will be selected through a competitive application process. Applicants chosen to participate will commit to attending approximately 35 days of intensive education over the course of the 2-year experience. The advisory council and program director will strive to select class members that represent the breadth and diversity of the agricultural industry across the state of Mississippi. Applicants may be farmers, ranchers, agribusiness owners or operators, or otherwise associated with the agriculture industry through their primary occupation.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Noble Guedon’s last act as a participant in the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program was to challenge members of the incoming class.
“You need to view this as a development opportunity to make yourselves better leaders in your communities and in your industry,” he said. “Make sure when you go to all these seminars, make sure you build a network and get to know the people you visit.”
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Farming is all Will Smythe has ever known. The Washington County producer, whose acres of corn and soybeans grow in Tribbett, supports his family’s farm operation beside his father and brother, his wife and children, every day. Smythe is quick to see, however, that success in agriculture is defined by much more than his year-to-year profitability.
Cooperation. Commitment. Grassroots leadership. These shared values unite First South Farm Credit and the Mississippi State University Extension Service in their shared mission to serve Mississippi’s agricultural community. So when the opportunity arose to support the fledgling Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program (TCALP), First South CEO and MSU agricultural economics graduate John Barnard (Class of 1981) jumped at the chance.