LEAD New York Program Accepting Applications

The Empire State Food and Agricultural Leadership Institute, also known as LEAD New York, is now accepting applications for its newest class of leaders.

Applications are due March 1 for this competitive leadership development program for adult professionals in the food, agricultural and natural resource industries of the Northeast. LEAD New York, a program of seminars, workshops and field travel from Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is geared towards committed individuals who are interested in leadership skill development, civic engagement, a greater understanding of issues facing the food system, and cultivating leadership networks. 

To maximize the networking opportunity and learning experience, the program is seeking candidates from a wide range of interests and background areas. Minimum age for applicants is 25 years old.

Participants meet monthly from October through April in each year of the program. In the first year, meetings are held at different locations throughout New York State, and the 25 days of training focus largely on self-awareness and leadership skill development. Individuals who successfully complete year one will receive a certificate of completion for the “Leadership Fundamentals” portion of the program, and will be well-positioned to serve in a variety of local leadership roles.

At the end of the first year, participants reapply for the second year of the program, which will entail 30 days of commitment and involve more out-of-state and international travel, including a 2-week study tour. Individuals successfully completing the second year of the program will have the distinction of being known as “LEAD Fellows.”

Applications are currently available at

For more information, contact Larry Van De Valk, Executive Director, LEAD NY Program at (607) 255-7907 or