New class selected for ag leadership program

24 individuals selected for Class 49 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program


Through dynamic seminars during an intensive 17-month program, fellows will study leadership theory, effective communication, motivation, critical and strategic thinking, change management, emotional intelligence and complex social and cultural issues. Seminars are delivered by four partner universities: Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Fresno State and UC Davis. Fellows will participate in 55 seminar days, including an eight-day national travel seminar and a 15-day international travel seminar.

“These 24 outstanding individuals, evenly split between men and women, come from all areas of the state and represent many diverse sectors of production,” said Barry Bedwell, president of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation. “What they have in common is a fervent desire to improve themselves as leaders who can further benefit California agriculture. We are excited to assist them in that journey.”


CALF invests approximately $55,000 per fellow to participate in the program, which is underwritten by individual and industry donations. Ag Leadership is considered to be one of the premier leadership programs in the United States. Since it was first delivered in 1970, more than 1,300 men and women have participated in the program and have become influential leaders and active volunteers in the agriculture industry and other areas.

Class 49 Fellows:

  • Brean Bettencourt, Bella Viva Orchards, Turlock
  • Adam Borchard, Association of California Water Agencies, Sacramento
  • Luis Calderon, Reiter Affiliated Companies, Oxnard
  • John Dmytriw, Index Fresh, Riverside
  • Steven Dodge, Acuity Agriculture, San Francisco
  • Miranda Driver, CalAgJobs, Woodland
  • Lesa Eidman, Superior Farms, Sacramento
  • Kate Elmore, Vail Ranches LLC, Brawley
  • James Ewart, Delicato Family Vineyards, King City
  • Brittany Fagundes, California Olive Ranch, Gridley
  • Steven Filter, Filter Farms Inc., Live Oak
  • Cherie France, Homegrown Organic Farms, Visalia
  • Daniel Hartwig, Woolf Enterprises, Fresno
  • Alyssa Houtby, California Citrus Mutual, Visalia
  • Betty Lindeman, Stevinson Water District, Los Banos
  • Melissa Macfarlane, Driscoll’s Nursery, Red Bluff
  • Adam Martinez, Driscoll’s, Watsonville
  • Daryn Miller, Monterey Pacific Inc., Templeton
  • Sara Neagu-Reed, California Farm Bureau Federation, Sacramento
  • Laura Pires, Cargill Animal Nutrition, Tulare
  • Jared Plumlee, Booth Ranches LLC, Orange Cove
  • Taylor Serres, Serres Ranch, Sonoma
  • Mark Unruh, J.G. Boswell Company, Corcoran
  • Jake Wenger, Wenger Ranch Inc., Modesto