The class acquired enhanced background in communication, teambuilding, advocacy and the Farm Bureau organization during 20 months of in-person and virtual instruction. Adapting the program to the pandemic, participants advocated on behalf of Farm Bureau virtually with lawmakers in Sacramento and in person in Washington, D.C. The class also took a field-studies trip to Texas and participated in training on agricultural issues, governmental policy and personal development.
Graduates of the 2020-21 Leadership Farm Bureau class are:
- Mark Avilla of Modesto is a walnut farmer and owner of Grafted Tree Public Relations. He works to connect agribusinesses and organizations to the non-agricultural community and serves as chairman of the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee.
- Amanda Battle of Sacramento is a fourth-generation cattle rancher and crop insurance adjuster with Rural Community Insurance Services. She previously served on the California Young Farmers & Ranchers State Committee.
- Amanda Berry of Murphys is a territory manager for Elanco, a company that produces medicines and vaccinations for pets and livestock. She serves as president of Calaveras County Farm Bureau and co-founded the Gold Country Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee.
- Katie Byrne of San Diego is membership coordinator and policy associate at San Diego County Farm Bureau. She does not come from a farming background but quickly gained expertise on the issues facing agriculture and the importance of advocacy to keep farmers farming.
- Katerina Kronauge of Dixon grew up in Redwood City, where she learned about agriculture in high school while working at Hidden Villa Ranch as a student intern. She previously worked for the Colusa-Glenn Resource Conservation District, specifically on its irrigated lands program.
- Paul La Follette of Brentwood is a fifth-generation farmer from Contra Costa County who grows winegrapes and raises game birds. He is a member of the Contra Costa County Farm Bureau board of directors, working to preserve agriculture in the county.
- Angelica Smith of Sacramento grew up in Oakhurst, where her family was involved in wildland firefighting. She is program and membership coordinator for Sacramento County Farm Bureau and is active in the county’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee.
The class represented the 21st group to graduate from the LFB program since its inception in 2000.
Applications for the 2022 Leadership Farm Bureau class will be accepted through Dec. 17.
For information and the application form, see www.cfbf.com/leadership-farm-bureau/.