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Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies

‘We are seeking changemakers’ for next GLLA Leadership Advancement Program

Date Posted: July 11, 2023

The Great Lakes Leadership Academy (GLLA) is now accepting applications for its 2024 Leadership Advancement Program (LAP), a yearlong curriculum of classroom intensives, community-based regional experiences, virtual cohort projects and an international capstone travel experience. 

As a founding partner, sponsor and member of GLLA’s Advisory Council, Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) is encouraging members looking to refine their leadership skills to apply before the Sept. 1 deadline.

LAP is designed for current and rising leaders in the diverse industries — agriculture, natural resources, environment, manufacturing, community development and all forms of government — looking to strengthen their skills, and empower their communities and organizations for the common good. 

Delivered by Michigan State University Extension in partnership with community-based organizations, LAP’s high-impact curriculum provides active and engaged experiential learning. Throughout the yearlong program, participants will expand their worldview and gain new perspectives through immersive experiences across Michigan and abroad.

Sessions are built around meaningful reflection and application. Participants make lasting connections with their cohort and develop skills necessary for making value-guided decisions in a complex and rapidly changing world. 

“Great Lakes Leadership Academy provided an opportunity to network and grow with peer leaders from around the state and from all our state’s diverse industries,” said Seth Earl, a Farm Bureau leader from Mason County and a 2022 GLLA graduate. “It’s a great example of how grassroots collaboration can drive positive change — in our local communities and throughout the state.

“GLLA provides a neutral playing field for individuals to grow as leaders, and lays the groundwork for future dialogue when critical and sometimes tough conversations have to happen with people with different viewpoints.”

To Earl’s point, today’s divisive world needs leaders who appreciate the value of working through differences to achieve not only individual goals but also the best, highest solutions to Michigan’s most complex problems.

“Personally, I enjoyed GLLA because it created an opportunity to meet fascinating individuals who I was able to learn from,” he said. “There’s not a better leadership experience within the state of Michigan that brings together all sectors of our state’s industries.”

Here’s the program’s full calendar for 2024-25:

  • Feb. 1, 2024 — Virtual orientation 
  • Feb. 12-14 — Classroom intensive (session 1) in central Michigan: Meet in-person for three days to learn foundational leadership concepts and build trust with fellow cohort members.
  • March 4-6 — Classroom intensive (session 2) in central Michigan 
  • June 24-26 — Regional experience 1: Western Michigan agriculture. Experience community-level change on site and witness leadership for the common good in action.
  • May 2 — Virtual session 1: Connect with cohort members virtually to continue learning and applying new skills. 
  • Aug. 5-7 — Regional experience 2: Community development in southeastern Michigan 
  • Sept. 9-11 — Regional experience 3: Natural resources in the Upper Peninsula 
  • Nov. 7 — Virtual session 2
  • Jan. 10-21, 2025 — International capstone travel experience: Travel to South Africa for a capstone experience to explore issues from a global lens and gain perspectives from diverse leaders.
  • Feb. 3-5 — Graduation in East Lansing 

Altogether 20 rising leaders from diverse fields will be chosen to take part. Ideal candidates embody the following qualities: 

  • High level of self-awareness and humility 
  • Mid-career professionals with diverse life-experiences and global views
  • Open-mindedness and natural curiosity 
  • Desire for systems-level change 
  • Willingness to serve 
  • Full, unwavering commitment to the program 
  • Dedication to the common good in Michigan and beyond

LAP is all-inclusive, with the $6,000 tuition covering comprehensive educational materials designed and delivered by experts, as well as the cost of all meals, lodging, international travel and airfare. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. 

The value of the program for each individual is estimated to exceed three times the tuition cost. The investment in each leader will have lasting change for your teams, organization and community.

Applications are due Sept 1, 2023. The selection process includes three professional references; candidates who advance will be asked to interview. Preference will be given to early applicants and a limited number of scholarships are available. Visit the LAP website or email [email protected] for more information.

Look for the new cohort to be announced in November 2023!

Emily Reinart headshot

Emily Reinart

Grassroots Policy Outreach Specialist
517-679-5337 [email protected]
Sarah Black headshot

Sarah Black

General Manager, Great Lakes Ag Labor Services
517-679-5340 [email protected]