KARL reschedules seminars and travel during COVID-19 pandemic
Leadership program will pick up in-person activities in 2021
Dec. 4, 2020
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership, a program that helps to develop leaders for agriculture, business and rural communities, has announced that it has rescheduled seminars and travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
KARL chair Steve Baccus said the board unanimously agreed to delay in-person contact, travel, and its international study tour to the United Arab Emirates, scheduled for 2021.
The pause begins as KARL Class XV enters its second year. Recruitment for the next class will also be delayed.
“KARL alumni and class associates have always stepped up to the needs in our communities and many are helping to meet those challenges during this uncertain time amidst COVID-19,” Baccus said. “The health and welfare of the class, their families and communities is always the utmost priority, especially during this pandemic time in our lives.”
KARL President Jill Zimmerman said the risk of compromising the experience through completely remote programming would be too high to justify the current class moving forward right now.
“The situation does not allow effective delivery using an alternative manner that meets the program’s standard of excellence, achieved through both experiential learning and transformational travel study,” Zimmerman said.
“I believe the board has made a sound decision to delay programming due to circumstances related to the pandemic. This is a short-term pause, yet puts the best interest long-term for the class members and the program. Kansas has a premier program built over the past 30 years. We’ve made much progress this past year and our goal is to become even stronger when this pandemic is behind us.”
While the schedule is adjusted, Zimmerman said efforts are ongoing to protect and build upon the sustainability and perpetuity of KARL.
“Our staff and leadership are committed to their work for overall excellence and finding ways to best meet the needs of our state,” Zimmerman said. “Our focus areas include reviewing all facets of the program and its curriculum, resource development, board training and teamwork to strengthen leadership development for agriculture and rural Kansas.”
Twenty-eight associates of the current class have completed the first of the two-year program, experiencing five seminars across Kansas, and a national study tour to Washington, D.C. and Gettysburg. Applications for class 16 will begin in late 2021. Nominations are ongoing and can be made online.
KARL is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to developing leaders for agriculture, business and rural communities, and is a member of the International Association of Programs for Agricultural Leadership (IAPAL), represented in 40 states and multiple countries.