ST. LOUIS — The American Soybean Association and Pioneer, a DuPont Company, are seeking applicants for the 2005 Young Leader Program. The Young Leader Program is recognized throughout agriculture for its longstanding tradition of identifying and cultivating the producers who are shaping the U.S. soybean industry.

The Young Leader Program began over 20 years ago as a way to seek out and develop new or young leaders to promote agriculture and guide our industry. The program is for any grower, whether 26 or 66, who has the desire and drive to help guide the direction of agriculture.

“The Young Leader Program is an exceptional leadership training program,” said Neal Bredehoeft, ASA president. “The instructors and program content are of the highest quality. This program provides information that participants can start using immediately, not only in business but personally as well.”

Cary Tomlinson, director of key accounts, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, said, “Applicants selected as Young Leaders have an excellent opportunity to learn the key leadership skills necessary for high profile roles within agriculture. They do this through interactive training that utilizes instructors and materials that have been very successful in the real world. Participants can also learn from each other and through the use of case studies of topics that are front-burner and pivotal to the future of agriculture. If anyone is interested in making a difference in agriculture, this program is for you.”

The 2005 class of Young Leaders and their spouses will participate in a challenging and educational leadership experience Feb. 22-26 in Austin, Texas, coinciding with the Commodity Classic Conference and Trade Show. The seminar offers the opportunity for participants to enhance leadership skills as well as meet and learn from other leaders from around the country.

The second phase of training will take place at Pioneer’s Headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, in early December 2005.

Application forms for the 2004 Young Leader Program have been mailed to all ASA members. Forms may also be obtained by calling ASA at 800-688-7692, contacting a state soybean office, or on the Web at www.SoyGrowers.com.

Soybean producers are encouraged to apply or nominate other producers for the program.

Nominations should be returned to ASA by Friday, Nov. 19.

One Young Leader couple will be selected from each of ASA’s state affiliates.