REAL Oregon Leadership Development

REAL Oregon Leadership Development

By Helle Ruddenklau –

There is an effort to revive the agricultural leadership program in Oregon. There was a similar program about 18 years ago, which unfortunately only lasted for one year. The program will start this fall and consist of five two and a half day meetings in locations spread throughout Oregon. There will be one meeting each month starting in November and ending in March. Here is how the program is described in some of the promotional material I’ve seen:

REAL Oregon is an annual leadership development program that exposes a cross-section of representatives from Oregon’s natural resources community to the diversity of Oregon’s geography, economy and cultures through in-depth training. Not only will participants learn critical everyday professional skills, they will also gain valuable knowledge about other industries and perhaps more importantly, participants will be immersed with other classmates from around the state and will develop a unique and special network that will benefit them, and their organizations/ industry for many years after they complete this program.

REAL Oregon is designed for agricultural, forestry, and commercial fishing professionals, producers, affiliated industries, association staff, public agency personnel, and members of resource related boards, commissions, and associations. Class members will participate in one session per month at five different locations (from November through March) across the state learning important leadership skills while gaining an in-depth understanding of the natural resource sectors that define Oregon’s economy.


  1. Improve personal leadership skills, enhance self-confidence, and develop agriculture and natural resource awareness.
  2. Encourage a network of leaders to take an active leadership role in community, state, and national issues.
  3. Promote Oregon’s Natural Resources and the development of strong rural communities.
  4. Continue to build a network of informed, trained and motivated rural leaders across Oregon.

It sounds like an outstanding program for some of our members.  Applications are closed for 2017, but put this on your radar for 2018.

You should be aware that the cost for each participant is $2,500 in addition to the cost associated with traveling to the locations and the time involved.

I will be part of the program this year, as well as OWA members Macey Wessels, and Andrea Krahmer. It would be wonderful if other OWA members would also join this leadership program.