Applications for Class 46 will open early 2025.

The application, essay questions, and self-evaluation are online. The Employer Release must be filled out by your employer. Four online reference forms are required for each candidate, plus, a resume and signed Memorandum of Understanding must be uploaded, mailed or emailed to AgForestry Office. All materials are kept confidential.

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must have lived or worked in Washington for at least one year.
  • Your employer must approve the required time to attend all seminars (approx. 58 days) and are able to be away from communications (laptop, cell phone, pager) during seminar hours. Those who are self-employed must be able to be away from their businesses for that time as well. Class 45 program schedule.
  • You must plan to remain employed in agriculture, forestry or related natural resource industry for the duration of the time you are in the program.
  • You must attend a Q&A session. We will hold four sessions in early 2025.

Natural Resource Industry Definition


Agriculture, forestry and natural resources are broadly defined to include producers (farmer, forester and fisher), processor/shippers, and marketing/salespeople. It also includes professionals from education, law, finance, insurance, government and non-government agencies whose work is dedicated to serving the natural resources sector. Those from other fields relating to environment, media, research, labor, and public relations who demonstrate strong connections to the natural resource industries are also included. An important qualification is the applicant’s current and future commitment to Washington’s agriculture, forestry, fisheries, natural resources and rural communities.

The Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation, which oversees the AgForestry Leadership Program, strongly encourages producer candidates:  decision makers in their farming, forestry, fishing or natural resource entity.

Selection Process


Each class is built by the Selection Committee representing leaders in natural resources. Final selection is approved by the Foundation’s Board of Directors. All applicants have an in-person interview with the Selection Committee in their area/region. The selection process is highly competitive. Up to 18 participants are chosen for each class. Applicants are notified in early July.

Program Commitment


Each Leadership Class is 18 months long, with no less than 58 days of required time and attendance. Your commitment to the program includes attendance at all seminars. There are 11 multi-day seminars held throughout Washington State, plus two travel seminars: one week in Washington, D.C., and two weeks in a foreign country. The total cost of the program is about $40,000 per participant. For Class 45, the fee to a participant was set at $6,000. The total cost is offset by grants, alumni, and other stakeholders. 

Each participant is expected to fulfill the following commitments:

  • To attend all in-state and travel seminars
  • To participate fully
  • To be willing to embark on a leadership journey that will, at times, be messy
  • To assume leadership responsibility

If you have questions about the program or application process email: or call: 509-926-9113

Application Steps – Application window for Class 46 will be open early 2025.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)– You must read and understand this document before you start the application. If you have questions or concerns about content in the MOU, call AgForestry at (509) 926-9113 or email: Once you begin the application, the MOU will be emailed to you for signature.   

  1. General Application
  2. Application Essay Questions 
  3. Self-Evaluation 
  4. Employer Release 
    1. AgForestry will email your supervisor directly.  They will receive both an Employer Release and Reference Form.
  5. Reference Form
    1. Share this link with three references. If you are self-employed, please send to four references.
  6. Resume
  7. Signed Memorandum of Understanding – After beginning the application, you will receive a link via email to sign the MOU.
  8. Attend one of four Q&A sessions.
  9. In-person interviews will be held early 2024.
    1. Interviews are conducted by independent panels across the state, comprised of AgForestry Alumni & Industry Stakeholders.