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Yount to attend state agricultural leaders program

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Henry County’s Justin Yount will join 45 other students from across Kentucky at the Institute for Future Agricultural Leaders at Murray State University June 15-19.

Summer vacation may be only beginning for most students, but for ninety-two high school juniors the emphasis on education continues.

These students, from 60 counties across the state, have accepted invitations to attend Kentucky Farm Bureau’s (KFB) 29th annual Institute for Future Agricultural Leaders (IFAL), held in two locations this month, according to the organizers.

IFAL is a five-day summer leadership conference that highlights a variety of careers in agriculture while exposing high school students to a preview of college life. Participants were nominated by their county Farm Bureau board of directors with the assistance of school personnel and youth group advisors.

“IFAL students are among the top in their class, plan to further their education at the post-secondary level and have an interest in pursing a career in agriculture,” organizers said.

During the week-long IFAL conference, attendees will gain a better understanding of the nature and needs of the agriculture industry, see how basic and applied science is utilized in agriculture and learn of the political process used to develop agricultural policy.

Participants will engage in team-building and recreational activities, attend classes, hear from speakers focusing on the values of leadership, social, communication and motivational skills, and visit research farms and other agriculture-related industries. The entire experience is wrapped in a college atmosphere as the students live in dormitories, eat in university dining facilities and become acquainted with life on a college campus in general.

To provide conference participants with a small-group atmosphere and greater ability to learn and engage in the activities planned, IFAL is split into two identical sessions. The first is held on the campus of Murray State University, June 15-19, and the other is hosted at the University of Kentucky, June 22-26.

“We co-host the Institute for Future Agriculture Leaders as a way to promote ag-related careers and leadership skills to Kentucky’s high school students,” said KFB Interim Young Farmer Director, Scott Christmas. “Through our program, participants are exposed to local agriculture businesses and engaged in farm-focused educational activities while receiving a unique preview of life on a college campus.”