After two years of learning about Georgia’s largest industry and developing leadership skills, the second class of the Advancing Georgia’s Leaders in Agriculture and Forestry (AGL) program has graduated.University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences faculty launched the program in 2012 to educate and empower Georgia’s agricultural and natural resource industry leaders to become effective advocates for the largest economic drivers in Georgia – the state’s agricultural and forestry industries.Twenty-five industry leaders from across the state spent the last two years touring farms and processing plants, and traveling throughout the state and world. They graduated in a ceremony at The Rock Ranch in The Rock, Georgia, on March 4.”This class represented a diverse cross section of Georgia’s agriculture and forestry industries. Each participant completed six in-state institutes, as well as an individual leadership project required for graduation,” said Lauren Griffeth, leadership specialist for UGA Cooperative Extension.Projects ranged from the launch of a communications initiative for the Georgia Farmers Market Association to the start of a servant-leadership initiative within an office. “I’m so proud of these alumni’s connection to AGL. These individuals will certainly continue to positively impact their organizations, communities and industries through their influential leadership,” Griffeth said.During their time in AGL, participants engaged in over 110 interactive sessions, completed four behavioral assessments and helped one another understand and analyze issues facing their industries and challenges that may emerge in the future.The AGL program is coordinated by faculty in the UGA CAES Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication and the Office of Learning and Organizational Development.Graduates of the 2015-2017 AGL class include:Danielle Hernandez Atkins, stewardship specialist, Georgia Forestry Commission, Brunswick, GeorgiaChris Baumann, region supervisor, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division, Rockledge, GeorgiaMallory Black, communication and public relations manager, CNI Ag Independent Retailers, Albany, GeorgiaShane Boyer, vice president for corporate lending, AgSouth Farm Credit, Madison, GeorgiaAshley Buford, owner, Braxton Farms, Cordele, GeorgiaBecca Creasy, regional product manager, Monsanto Company, Statesboro, GeorgiaMichael Cronic, broiler manager, Columbia Farms of Georgia, Braselton, GeorgiaStan Deal, farmer and technical sales representative, Verdesian Life Sciences, Donalsonville, GeorgiaAmelia Dortch, state public affairs specialist, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Mableton, GeorgiaKyle Hagen, service manager, Kubota Tractor Company, AtlantaMike Harrell, forester, Stuckey Timberland, Eastman, GeorgiaDavid Huddleston, purchasing manager, Carroll Electric Membership Cooperative, Roopville, GeorgiaJeff Jordan, vice president for forest technology, F&W Forestry Service, Albany, GeorgiaSamantha Kilgore, communications director, Associations Services Group, Sharpsburg, GeorgiaJeff Manley, general manager and co-founder, The Rock Ranch, The Rock, GeorgiaBrent Marable, assistant director for plant licensing, UGA Innovation Gateway, Watkinsville, GeorgiaRegina Morgan, director of communications, Peeples Industries, Savannah, GeorgiaJay Murdock, director of member services, Georgia Farm Bureau, Macon, GeorgiaLanie Riner, president and head grower, Thunderwood Farms, Woodbury, GeorgiaJenna Saxon, government relations representative, Georgia EMC, AtlantaJason Sidwell, broiler technician, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, and owner, Sidwell Beef, Rutledge, GeorgiaBrian Stone, appraisal services manager, Forest Resource Consultants, Macon, GeorgiaAnna Strickland, UGA Archway professional for Hart County, University of Georgia, Winterville, GeorgiaNathan Tyson, account manager, CNI Ag Independent Retailers, Tifton, GeorgiaBrennan Washington, farmer, Phoenix Gardens, Lawrenceville, GeorgiaOrganizers are now accepting nominations for the upcoming AGL class that will begin in August 2017. Those seeking more information about the AGL program can visit agl.caes.uga.edu.