For more than 30 years, Oklahomans who are engaged in the agricultural industry have been able to enhance their leadership skills through their participation in the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program (OALP).


With the recent completion of OALP Class XVI, it is time begin accepting applications for individuals interested in becoming members of OALP Class XVII.


Since its inception in 1982, OALP has grown to 453 alumni. The program continues to grow and offer class members new and exciting opportunities, said Edmond Bonjour, OALP director. The alumni are very supportive when the class visits their area of the state.


“Our overall goal for the OALP is to further develop emerging leaders for Oklahoma agriculture,” Bonjour said. “We develop our leaders through a series of seminars and study tours over a 20-month period. We also expose participants to cutting-edge changes that are occurring in the agriculture industry and agri-business.”


OALP has been recognized as one of Oklahoma’s top leadership programs for emerging agricultural leaders. The program is open to Oklahoma men and women between the ages of 25 and mid-40s to early 50s who are engaged in production agriculture or a related agricultural business.


Applications for OALP’s Class XVII are available online at The deadline for submitting an application and letters of reference is May 1. Those interested are encouraged to apply early. The class size is limited to 30 participants.


Bonjour said the 20-month program consists of 10 three-day seminars and study tours within Oklahoma, one three-day seminar in northern Oklahoma and Kansas, a seven- to eight-day seminar in Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., and a two-week international experience near the end of the program. The first seminar is slated for August 2014.


Class members will have the opportunity to interact with knowledgeable individuals who fill prominent leadership roles at the local, state, regional, national and international levels.


“We have three basic objectives in OALP. First, the program is designed to help potential leaders develop a deeper and fuller appreciation of people,” Bonjour said. “While members of previous classes began the program with some leadership skills, they completed the class with an even broader understanding and appreciation of people throughout the United States and the world.”


The second objective of the program is designed to help potential leaders develop a better understanding of basic systems of economics and government. Many of the opportunities and problems facing agriculture today are economic in nature. In addition, many of the solutions to economic problems and economic opportunities exist beyond the borders of Oklahoma and beyond the boundaries of the United States.


The third objective is to help OALP participants utilize their understanding of people and their knowledge of systems of economics and government to solve problems and exploit opportunities for the state’s agricultural industry.


OALP Class XVI recently returned from a two-week trip to South Africa.


For more information about OALP, please call Bonjour at 405-744-8134, email at or visit the OALP website at