In mid-June I graduated from Project CENTRL (Center for Rural Leadership), a 12-month, 9-seminar Arizona leadership program. My class, Class XXVI, comes from all over the state, and ranges in both industry and education.
Our seminars took us around the state, and beyond. We visited a timber mill in the White Mountains, a state penitentiary outside of Tucson, and lettuce fields in Yuma. Last fall we took a trip to Ciudad Obregon in southern Sonora, the Mexican state bordering Arizona, and in late April we flew to Washington, DC, to meet the Arizona delegation and a range of agricultural and educational leaders that work at the heart of our government.
This program, tuition free in large part to a generous grant from the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, has 40 years of experience training leaders in the Copper State. Project CENTRL claims six alumni in the Arizona legislature, and many more active leaders throughout the state (including Alan Kessler, Class I, from the Flying M Ranch).
The two greatest benefits I’ve found in this program are the networking, and the travel. I might have eventually ventured to the far corners of my adopted home state, but driving past the fields of lettuce and kale in Yuma wouldn’t have given me the experience of spending an entire morning with migrant laborers.
I’d heard about some of the ranchers around Show Low, but Project CENTRL gave me the opportunity to sit with them and learn about their experiences, some very different than the ranches with whom I work.
The 2018 Diablo Trust calendar theme is the Economics of Open Lands. We toured a meat processing plant and auction house in March, and have plans to visit the AZ National Scenic Trail this summer. These field trips are more than to just see the land included in the Diablo Trust land area – they are to show you our region and enhance our networks.
I hope to see you out on the land this year, expanding your horizon in this “big sky country” (my apologies to Montana). We live in a diverse world, and in a diverse state. Without effort, we can only see what’s immediately around us, and I aim – like with Project CENTRL – to show you what else is out there, so there will always be a West.
Jeremy D. Krones, Program Manager
Office: 210 Peterson Hall, Northern Arizona University
Contact: (928) 523-0588 or email@example.com