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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Local farmer named to represent Tennessee in leadership program

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Hunter Grills poses for a photo during a four-day leadership development training held last month in Johnston, Iowa. Grills was chosen by the American Soybean Association to represent Tennessee in its Young Leader Program.
When Hunter Grills was handed an application for the American Soybean Association's Young Leader Program at a local Co-Op in Newbern he took a chance and filled it out, hoping to be selected. The chance paid off as Grills was selected as a 2013 ASA/DuPont Young Leader and will represent Tennessee in a leadership-development program with soybean producers in 21 others states and Canada.

"The ASA is a wonderful organization and they do a lot of good for the agricultural community," said Grills. "I look forward to continuing to work with them."

The ASA/DuPont Young Leader Program seeks to recruit soybean farmers who are innovative and young in leadership. According to Grills, the ASA reports that the average age of farmers in Tennessee is 58. As an industry that is responsible for feeding the world, part of the ASA's mission is to raise awareness of how important agriculture is to our community, effective representation in Washington, D.C. as well as leadership development for the next generation of farmers.

"Because we are out in the field we cannot go to Washington, but the ASA can go to Washington and speak on our behalf," said Grills. "It is good to know that there is a voice on our side."

Grills underwent a four-day leadership development experience from Tuesday, Nov. 27 through Friday, Nov. 30 in Johnston, Iowa where he was able to attend seminars on a variety of topics including: intellectual property, communications and media relations and weed resistance. In addition, Grills was able to connect with farmers from different areas of the country to learn about different farming operations in other states.

Grills will attend another workshop in Kissimmee, Fla. in February and he expects to bring a lot of information back that he can share with other farmers.

"The whole goal of the program is to encourage younger farmers to be leaders in the agricultural community," said Grills.

Information for this article was obtained through the official American Soybean Association website at www.soygrowers.com.

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