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Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation News   
January 3, 2022
Meet the IALP Class of 2023
Leeson Gord, Sandwich, is the seventh generation of his family to farm in Illinois.  His family raises commercial corn and soybeans.  When he is not occupied with farm duties, he works at Gord Industrial Plastics, an injection molding business started by his father in 1961.  Leeson also serves his community as a board member of the DeKalb County Farm Bureau and as a commissioner for his local drainage district.  He is a graduate of Iowa State University where he was a double major, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy and Agricultural Studies.  He received a secondary major in International Agriculture.   
We Thank Our IALF Supporters 
Alumni News
Congratulations to Heather Hampton Knodle (IALP '98)! Heather has been elected for a two-year term as President of the American Agri-Women. She also served as the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, held in November in Salt Lake City, Utah. 
On his locally shown PBS show, A Shot of Ag, Rob Sharkey (IALP '16)(right), farmer and ag broadcasting personality, interviews ag lender/entrepreneur and fellow alum, Ryan Buckles (IALP '16). They discussed Ryan's experience in the ag industry and briefly share the impact the IALP had on their lives and careers. You can watch the video here
Congratulations to Heather Thompson (IALP '23) on her new role as Director of Innovation at GROWMARK.

Heather will be responsible for executing enterprise innovation strategy.  This will include driving innovation efforts through exploration, development, and implementation of breakthrough ideas.  Heather will build and maintain a network of startup accelerators, venture professionals, and other partners who can further GROWMARK’s innovation initiatives. She will work to implement an investment advisory council to engage members in understanding innovation efforts, monitoring emerging trends, and identifying industry disruption while maintaining accountability for developing best in class innovation processes for GROWMARK.
Class of 2023 Upcoming Seminars
  • The Maschhoffs, LLC State Government Seminar 
                January 12-14, 2022

  • Kim Morton National Agricultural Policy Seminar 
                    Champaign/College of ACES at University of Illinois

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