Edgar, Wardlow From Bumpers College Complete Food Systems Leadership Program

From left, Bumpers College Assistant Dean Leslie Edgar, interim Dean Lona Robertson and AECT Department Head George Wardlow.

From left, Bumpers College Assistant Dean Leslie Edgar, interim Dean Lona Robertson and AECT Department Head George Wardlow.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Leslie Edgar and George Wardlow from the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas recently completed the Food Systems Leadership Institute program.

The institute is an executive leadership development program for academia, industry and government, and enhances personal and professional development by emphasizing leadership competencies, skills for organizational change, and a broad, interdisciplinary perspective of food systems.

Edgar is assistant dean for student programs and professor of agricultural communications. Wardlow is professor and head of the Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology.

They completed the 2015-17 cohort and were two of 28 Fellows of the program recognized at the annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities in Washington, D.C.

"I know what a valuable experience this is and congratulations to both of them," said Bumpers College interim Dean Lona Robertson, who was a Fellow of the 2015 FSLI class. "They spent time with leaders on a local and national level, and developed and refined skills that will benefit the college and serve them for years to come."

The two-year program prepares scholars for upper-level leadership roles in food system programs. It is designed for experienced leaders in academia, government and industry. Through a curriculum including three executive style residential sessions, individual coaching, mentoring and personal projects, the institute seeks to enhance personal leadership ability, develop skills and knowledge for organizational change, and broaden perspectives on integrated food systems.

Fellows report the experience has had a significant impact on their leadership abilities. Leadership growth can be measured in many different ways, and more than a third of the group has experienced promotions, selection to lead high-profile initiatives, election to university-wide leadership posts and other recognitions. Other Fellows use their enhanced leadership and broader food systems perspectives to lead change from current positions.  

FSLI is a program of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. It was created with financial support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and is operated in a partnership between North Carolina State University, Ohio State University and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.   

In addition to Robertson, Edgar and Wardlow, Wayne Mackey, professor and head of the Department of Horticulture, is participating in the 2016-18 program.

About the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences: Bumpers College provides life-changing opportunities to position and prepare graduates who will be leaders in the businesses associated with foods, family, the environment, agriculture, sustainability and human quality of life; and who will be first-choice candidates of employers looking for leaders, innovators, policy makers and entrepreneurs. The college is named for Dale Bumpers, former Arkansas governor and longtime U.S. senator who made the state prominent in national and international agriculture.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Robby Edwards, director of communications
Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
479-575-4625, robbye@uark.edu


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