1. What is the Nebraska LEAD Program?
The Nebraska LEAD Program is a 2-year leadership development program for Nebraskans involved in agriculture.

2. How and when are people selected to participate in the LEAD Program?
Each summer a new group of up to thirty individuals are selected to begin participation in the fall.

June 15 : The application deadline is always June 15th of the current year.

July : Once all applications have been received, every candidate is interviewed by a five-member panel during the month of July. By design, we interview candidates who reside throughout the entire state of Nebraska.

August : The Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council's Board of Directors has the final approval on whom will be selected. Final selection takes place at the quarterly board meeting held in mid-August with candidates being notified shortly thereafter.

September : The first seminar is held in Lincoln during mid-September.

3. How much does it cost to participate?
Each Fellow is required to pay a relatively small participant fee. This fee represents about 20% of the estimated total value of what they receive during their participation in the program. The estimated value of the program is $13,000 while participant fees are $1,250 each of the two years ($2,500 total). Fellows are also required to provide their own transportation to and from seminar locations; carpooling is common.

Some Fellows personally pay their own participant fees while others fund-raise with their employer, local businesses or friends/family to help cover their cost.

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4. What about hotel, air/bus transportation and meal costs?
Nearly all of these costs are covered by the Nebraska LEAD Program office or various donors. Fellows will have minimal, personal incidental costs.

5. I'd like to talk to one of your graduates to learn more about the Program, but I don't think I know any of them?
If you live in rural Nebraska, chances are there is someone in your local community who has participated in the program. If you live in a larger town or city, this may be more of a challenge. If you need assistance locating one of our alumni, feel free to contact Shana at sgerdes2@unl.edu or call her at 402-472-6810. Once she learns where you live, she can find and make initial contact with a graduate for you--asking one of our alumni to contact you.

You might also want to check out the Current Class & Alumni link on our home page for photos of our current class participants. Under this link you will also find an alphabetical listing of our alumni .

6. If I am selected, what type of commitment am I making?
In order to participate, Fellows are required to sign a document stating that they will attend every seminar. The Director can approve absences in cases of true emergencies. Fellows also pledge to fulfill their participant fee requirements. If you are married, your spouse must attend your interview and also participate in four of the twelve state-wide seminars: Kickoff-UNL, Creighton, Chadron and Final-UNL. (View schedule here.)

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7. I know someone who would be a good candidate for the LEAD Program. What should I do?
If you know of someone who has the personal qualities to become a future leader or advocate for Nebraska agriculture, please email Irene at leadprogram@unl.edu with their name, address, email and phone number or click HERE to go to our nomination form.   Nominators are considered "anonymous" unless you give us permission to release your name to a possible candidate. You can also call our office at 402-472-6810 to nominate a candidate. Candidate names are collected throughout the entire year.

8. Can I nominate myself to be considered for the LEAD Program?
Yes, you can nominate yourself to be considered. Please email Irene at  leadprogram@unl.edu with your contact information. Please let Irene know if you would like one of our informational brochures or if you would like to receive an application form. Applications are accepted through the entire year, with June 15th as the deadline to be considered for the upcoming fall sessions.

9. I have a question that isn't answered here. What can I do?
If you have further questions, please email Director Terry Hejny at thejny1@unl.edu or Shana at sgerdes2@unl.edu

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