The California Ag Leadership Foundation’s Transition Plan

Our foundation is excited to announce that we are cultivating a new way forward as we continue to provide the premier leadership program in the nation in these challenging times. As all businesses and organizations have had to pivot in this new world of COVID, so has Ag Leadership. The board took action on May 8 to pause our in-person programs which included a hiatus in recruiting Class 51, in-person seminars for Class 50, as well as any inperson related foundation activities. Unfortunately, this included our much-anticipated celebration of 50 years of Ag Leadership. This time of pause has given us an opportunity to reflect and refocus. We are excited to announce our path forward

New Leadership Team

  • Dwight Ferguson has been named CEO of our foundation. 
  • Abby Taylor-Silva (45) will serve as executive vice president.
  • Michael Young (35) will assume the role of board chair.
  • Correen Davis (45), Yissel Barajas (40) and Paul Parreira (44) will join the foundation’s board of directors.

Program Resumption Plan

With the ‘pause’ in our current Class 50’s leadership experience and the delay in recruiting for Class 51, Shelli Hendricks (director of education) and the Ed Team have created an interim program educational plan.

While 2020 has presented some unique challenges for everybody, it is times like these that allow us to use the skills we teach and learn in the program to move forward and shine. California Ag Leadership’s future is bright, and its trajectory is on the right path. We look forward to having COVID restrictions lifted so that we can gather as CALF family and properly introduce you all to our new leadership team while coming together to share what makes California Ag Leadership so special.

I want to offer our most sincere gratitude to Barry Bedwell (13) (CALF president) who will continue part time through October and Jeff Elder (35) (chairman of the board) for their leadership of this organization for the last five years. Under them, our endowment has continued to grow, new partners have been cultivated and the program’s stature has risen. Once COVID restrictions are lifted, we will send them off with a proper celebration. 

Lastly, I want all communication to be transparent and free flowing, so please, if you have any board level concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to me at Best,

Michael Young (35)
CALF Board Chair

>Full Transition Message Here

The team of Fred Medero, Managing Director, and Crystal Strauss, Director, of Kincannon & Reed Executive Search served as the foundation’s search resource in this very successful recruitment of our new President/CEO and Vice President.