The Columbia River Seminar encompassed three main objectives:
- Gaining an appreciation for the framework by which the Columbia River System is managed
- Becoming familiar with the interrelationships among the competing users of the Columbia River system
- Better understanding the Columbia River system public policy issues and how they are being solved
Objectives were met via presentations by BPA, Tribes, Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Pacific Northwest Waterways Association and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and The Army Corp of Engineers. Tours of Bonneville Dam and Little White Salmon Fish Hatchery added to the seminar experience. A highlight included a reception at Columbia Land Trust with fresh grilled salmon provided by CRITFC Executive Director, Jaime Pinkham.
What participants are saying:
For me, this seminar reinforced the importance of telling your story and being able to articulate the why behind the message. To go along with that, you need to be open to hearing others' stories and appreciate others' needs. When a new voice is brought into the conversation, you need to understand where that voice is coming from and consider the impacts of the decisions that are being made.
WA AgForestry Leadership is awesome! The issues surrounding the great Columbia River are vitally important to all of us who live and work in the Northwest, and hearing from so many of our AgForestry Alumni, who are leaders in their respective fields, is truly inspiring and gives me confidence that all of us are capable of following in their footsteps.
I have spent all of my career working in natural resource management related to Puget Sound and knew minimal information on the equally important Columbia River system. I gained connections to people, ideas, and experiences that I likely never would have been exposed to on my own or through my current career. I also enjoyed the discussion around energy and dams.
The negotiations of the Columbia River Treaty is something that I'm going to be paying closer attention to as they continue to collaborate between the US and Canada. With the ecosystem being more of a focus compared to decades ago then I can see how it will take some serious work to come to a resolution.
Hosted by Green Diamond Resource Company, the seminar provided forestry field tours and exercises planned by Seminar Coordinators Patti Case and John Ison. Seminar topics included a history of the Forestry Industry, Perspectives in Forest Land Management and Forest Management Regulations. A tour of the new Sierra Pacific Industries Sawmill and a fresh clam dinner and shellfish tour by Brett and Lisa Bishop at Little Skookum Shellfish were additional highlights. Dinner at Alderbrook Resort and a conversation about the Skokomish River was a perfect end to a day in the woods on Thursday.
- The sawmill tour was amazing! What an incredible opportunity. Bret and Lisa's hospitality and generosity in sharing their farm and their stories with us was overwhelmingly wonderful - I will continue to be inspired by it for a long time.
- Even though I did not have a great depth of knowledge about this sector I was struck by how similar the issues facing all of the natural resource sectors are. As a leader, it is important to understand the bigger picture and address issues based on full perspective.
- The hands on, boots on the ground aspects were a great way to experience and learn about forestry. I came into this seminar with some knowledge of the forest products industry and walked away with a wealth of knowledge and a different lens (view) on the industry.
- Before this seminar didn't know anything about forestry, it was great to get an insight into a whole new industry that will help me become a more well-rounded leader.
- I learned that the forestry industry, through some turbulent times in the late 80's and 90's, made some extremely resilient strides to evolve to become the progressive leaders in environmental and management policy. I think a great deal can be learned from this example with any organization faced with adversity in that the best way to show leadership is to (if possible) meet those adversities head-on and actually turn what were adversities into a positive and an opportunity to lead.
- I really liked Cindy Mitchell's presentation. In it she touched on telling your story - something we have heard at many of our seminars. Hers was a different approach though. Paint your picture before the other side uses a different brush to paint a different picture. I will use this in my profession, at work and in my community.
Class 39 - Working with the Media Seminar
In December, member of Class 39 completed their Working with the Media seminar
Key areas explored during the seminar included:
Meeting the media: Participants engaged in a panel discussion with Spokesman Review City Editor, John Stucky; KXLY Radio Reporter, Kristi Gorenson and KHQ TV Anchor, Stephanie Vigil. Panelists emphasized the elements needed to make a successful story in their form of media. The class also met with the Spokesman Review Editor, Ron Curley, to understand how stories are selected for the newspaper.
Articulating your message: Class members learned the importance of having an 'elevator pitch' to intrigue reporters and members of the public, and the value of knowing and telling your story to engage an audience.
Speaking to the media: Class 39 practiced working with the media in mock TV interviews conducted by communications professionals. Interviews were filmed and critiqued.
Gonzaga Professor Dr. Joe Albert’s presentation, “What’s Your Story? The Use of Narrative in Effective Leadership”. Dr. Albert challenged participants to make stories real by using their own unique stories to make a connection with their audience. The theme “Telling Your Story” was carried throughout the seminar.
Northwest Farm Credit Services Marketing and Public Affairs Vice President, Linda Hendrickson, and Marketing Consultant, Jennifer Mengarelli led the class through a powerful “Crisis Management Exercise” that was based on a true incident. Participants learned how to prepare and react to a crisis with a list of best practices.
Thursday evening featured a Leadership Networking Reception at Washington State University College of Pharmacy. Featured speaker, Chancellor Lisa Brown, provided an overview of the new Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and a presentation titled, “Improving the Life of Washingtonians”.
What Leaders Learned from this Seminar:
What Class 39 Leaders Gained From the Seminar
- Dr. Joe Albert was fantastic. I really enjoyed hearing his story and thinking about my own story. I was inspired to take some time to think about my timeline and find the turning points that have occurred in my life that have brought me to where I am and how they define me as a person.
- I think the predominant theme of 'telling your story' was fantastic. Even if I'm just telling the person next to me on the plane my ag story, I'm contributing to positivity for our industry.
- I have a lot more respect for the power of media and what is involved in obtaining a story. It showed me how media is curious for more stories and if we don't tell the stories for ag and forestry then others will tell it for us.
- I gained a much deeper appreciation for how the news gets made. It was very helpful to learn about the motivations and drivers for the news professionals we had the opportunity to meet. Understanding what is truly newsworthy and the rationale for what does or does not make it to press was immensely valuable.
- As uncomfortable as it is I always enjoy being removed from my comfort zone and challenged. The TV interview with critiques were very useful. To be put in a situation where you have to think on your feet and respond appropriately was a memorable experience.
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The Washington Agriculture and Education Foundation (AgForestry) is recognized as the premier leadership development program in Washington State. AgForestry cultivates leaders in agriculture, forestry, fishing and related industries who communicate, collaborate, inspire and serve.
The program addresses issues that impact natural resources and our society at large. It presents hands-on learning experiences that allow participants to achieve an advanced level of leadership. Over 18 months, 11 leadership seminars are presented throughout Washington on topics including: communications; group dynamics; public speaking; working with media; influencing public policy and working with the state government; and key policy issues impacting forestry, agriculture, the Columbia River System, social services, the criminal justice system, and transportation. The program also features one week in Washington D.C. learning about the federal government and a two-week seminar on international trade, culture and government in a selected foreign country. Through our leadership seminars we enhance leadership skills, present multiple perspectives on issues, and explore the economic, environmental and human impacts of public policy decisions.
Class 40 launched their leadership journey October 2017.
Few things touch our lives more in Washington State than our natural resource industries. The individuals who successfully complete our program impact and enrich lives and communities in Washington State and throughout the world with leading edge solutions for challenges faced by agriculture, forestry and natural resources.
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