The American Soybean Association and Pioneer, a DuPont Company, are seeking applicants for the 2006 Young Leader Program. The Young Leader Program is recognized throughout agriculture for its tradition of identifying and cultivating producer leaders who are shaping the U.S. soybean industry.

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

The Young Leader Program began over 20 years ago as a way to develop new leaders to promote agriculture and help guide the soybean industry. The program is for persons who are innovative, enthusiastic and looking to take a more active role on behalf of the soybean industry.

“Applicants selected as Young Leaders have an opportunity to learn the key leadership skills necessary for high profile roles within the soybean industry,” said Cary Tomlinson, director of key accounts, Pioneer Hi-Bred International. “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 issues that are ‘front-burner’ and pivotal to the future of the soybean industry.”

The 2006 class of Young Leaders and their spouses will participate in a challenging and educational leadership experience Feb. 28 - March 4 in Anaheim, Calif., coinciding with the Commodity Classic Conference and Trade Show. The seminar offers the opportunity for participants to enhance their leadership skills as well as meet and learn from other young leaders from around the country. The second phase of training will take place at Pioneer's Headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, in early December 2006.

All soybean producers are encouraged to apply or nominate another producer who would be an excellent candidate for the program. Application forms for the 2006 Young Leader program have been mailed to all ASA members. Forms may also be obtained by calling 800-688-7692, ext. 1328, or a state soybean association office or on the Internet at www.SoyGrowers.com/dyl/. Nominations should be returned to ASA by Nov. 18, 2005.

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