OABA launch

LAUNCH Program Program Prepares Future AgriBusiness Leaders

OABA launch

Nineteen Ohio agribusiness leaders are being recognized as the latest graduates of Ohio AgriBusiness Association’s (OABA) LAUNCH program. 

Participants were selected by their companies to undergo the robust executive leadership development program, which was created in partnership with Wilt Public Relations to help OABA member companies fill the looming void of leadership talent. More than 50 percent of the agriculture business workforce is expected to retire in the next 10-12 years. The 19 OABA member graduates who successfully completed the 2016 LAUNCH program include:

  • Abby Anderson – Brand Manager, The Andersons Inc.
  • Courtney Benich – Salesman, Central Ohio Farmers Co-op
  • Jeff Carr – Controller, Witmer’s Feed & Grain Inc.
  • Adam Conrad – Assistant Field Production Manager, Schlessman Seed Co.
  • Hart Fledderjohann – Associate Vice-President Agribusiness, Farm Credit Mid-America
  • Evan Hahn – Vice-President Credit, Farm Credit Mid America
  • Dana Lawrence – Regional Manager, Ag Credit ACA
  • Mike Leady – Facility Manager, Mid-Wood Inc.
  • Charlie Maag – Crop Specialist, Legacy Farmers Cooperative
  • Brian Moff – Grain Operations, Agland Co-op Inc.
  • Joshua Newcomer – Operations, Town & Country Co-op Inc.
  • Deb Otte – Crop Nutrient Account Manager/Market Analyst, Trupointe Cooperative
  • Jamie Pratt – IT Manager, Legacy Farmers Cooperative
  • Corey Prosser – Agronomy Manager, Central Ohio Farmers Co-op
  • Lindsay Riedlinger – Grain Originator, Heritage Cooperative
  • Andrew Ruck – CFO, Central Ohio Farmers Co-op
  • Jessica Shanahan – Program Manager, Ohio FFA Foundation
  • Stephen Welling – Liquid Facility Manager, Luckey Farmers Inc.
  • Kyle Wilson – Corn Specialist, AgriGold

LAUNCH prepares participants for successive leadership roles through a curriculum focused on developing individual skills and a global view of overall organizational needs. Capstone projects, pre-session work assignments and in-person sessions all added to the depth of program.

Program topics included determining and flexing your style of work with others; leading with purpose; change management; creating a positive culture; human resources; financial principles; presentation techniques; working with state and federal government; courageous leadership; corporate sustainability; work-life balance and more. Jack Park delivered the keynote presentation on “The Leadership Secrets of Football’s Master Coaches.” Sessions also included a trip to the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center Feed Mill and New Business Incubation Center in Wooster, Ohio.

“The LAUNCH program is unique in that it provides participants the opportunity to hone not only their leadership skills specific to the agribusiness industry, but their leadership skillset overall, which is extremely important in an industry that is constantly evolving and adapting,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. “The participants of this year’s class showed immense growth during the course of the program, and I’m certain you’ll be seeing their names again in the future.”

For additional information on OABA or the LAUNCH Program, contact Margo Long at 614-326-7520 or [email protected]

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association is a membership-based agribusiness state trade association whose membership includes the manufacturers and wholesale/retail suppliers of plant nutrient and protection materials, the grain warehousing and marketing industry, the feed and seed industry, as well as companies providing equipment, financing, insurance, consulting, and other products and services for the agribusiness industry. We are the leading advocate for Ohio agribusiness by creating a sustainable business climate through collaborative policy leadership, continuous education and effective communication.