Washington AgForestry Foundation seeks more farmers

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CAPITAL PRESS – MATTHEW WEAVER – Kara Kaelber joins the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation July 23 as program manager. She will work part-time, and continue as education director for the Franklin Conservation District, overseeing the Wheat Week educational program.

Kara Kaelber says she hopes to draw more farmers to take part in the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation’s leadership program.

Kaelber joins the foundation July 23 as the part-time program manager.

She will continue her work as education director at the Franklin Conservation District in Pasco, Wash. As part of that job she was the facilitator of Wheat Week, an educational program for fourth- and fifth-graders about water, soil, agriculture and wheat.

Kaelber said she would like to see more funding for the foundation and more participants in the organization’s two-year AgForestry leadership program, particularly farmers.

Each leadership class lasts 18 months, with a total of 58 days of attendance. Eleven seminars are held in Washington state. The program also includes a week in Washington, D.C., and two weeks in a foreign country.

Total cost is $6,000, or $3,000 per year. Kaelber says she’d like to ease the financial burden for farmers.

Kaelber graduated from the program as a member of Class 37 in 2016.

“I thought the experience was tremendous,” she said. “I think anybody would benefit from the program. You got this well-rounded experience of what real, genuine leadership looks like on the ground, and then you could take it back and apply it to whatever position you had.”

Kaelber said she used her experiences make improvements to the Wheat Week program.

“I am certain that her experience in adult education and commitment to leadership development will be a perfect fit for AgForestry,” foundation president Sheryl McGrath said in a press release. “Kara has wonderful energy, enthusiasm and a keen understanding of the importance of natural resources industries throughout Washington.”

Kaelber said the program’s influence on agriculture is “tremendous.”

“If you don’t have people speaking on your behalf, with the message you want people to hear, then your industry’s not going to survive,” she said.



Posted by: Matthew Weaver, Capital Press, Published on July 10, 2018 9:07AM

Picture: Washington AgForestry Foundation – Kara Kaelber, facilitator of Wheat Week, will join the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation as program manager July 23.