The Rice Foundation is accepting applications for the 2007 Rice Leadership Development Program. Rice producers or industry-related professionals between the ages of 25 and 45 are eligible to apply for the program.

The program provides a comprehensive understanding of the rice industry, with an emphasis on personal development and communication skills. During a two-year period, class members attend four one-week sessions designed to strengthen leadership skills through studies of all aspects of the rice industry.

The class is comprised of five rice producers and two industry-related professionals chosen by a committee of agribusiness leaders. The committee evaluates the applications of all candidates, reviews letters of recommendation and conducts personal interviews with the finalists.

The program is sponsored by John Deere Co. and Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., through a grant to the Rice Foundation and is managed by the USA Rice Federation.

For more information, go to or fill out an online application form and recommendation forms. Applications must be submitted by Oct. 7.