Farm Bureau selects new PAL class | TSLN.com

Farm Bureau selects new PAL class

Jennifer Bergin, a rancher from Melstone, is one of 10 outstanding young farm and ranch leaders selected by the American Farm Bureau Federation as the organization's eighth Partners in Agricultural Leadership class. PAL is designed to help agricultural leaders accelerate their leadership abilities and solidify their roles as advocates for agriculture.

"The new PAL class represents the very 'best of the best' among today's farmers, ranchers and agri-business professionals," AFBF President Bob Stallman said. "We look forward to working with them as they embark on an exciting journey that will equip them as vital contributors to our agricultural outreach efforts."

Bergin, who serves as Montana Farm Bureau's District 3 Director, applied for the program because she wanted to become a better advocate for agriculture. "There are too many places where spokespeople for agriculture are needed, and there aren't enough advocates to go around. This training will help fill some of those areas where having more ag advocacy leaders is critical."

She noted it was a tough decision due to the extensive time commitment to the two-year program, which includes plenty of time spent with social media tweeting, Facebook and blogging. That doesn't include the training and travel. "I talked with husband and sons, and we decided a time commitment now is worth the benefits it will bring in the future to having more people understand agriculture."

To be eligible for the PAL program, applicants must have previously developed leadership skills built through participating and excelling in at least one Young Farmers & Ranchers program. Bergin had been a Top 10 Finalist in 2014 for the AFBF Achievement Award.

PAL training involves four learning modules designed to develop specific leadership skills while exploring components of leadership and its theories and philosophies. The modules build on one another over the two years of the program and include intense, in-person, hands-on training.

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AFBF created the PAL curriculum as a high-level, executive training program that prepares participants to represent agriculture in the media, in public speaking, in congressional testimony and other advocacy arenas. Program graduates are given opportunities to step forward and promote awareness about issues important to farmers and consumers. The PAL program is sponsored by AFBF, the Farm Credit System and Monsanto Co.

–Montana Farm Bureau Federation