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Twenty Emerging Leaders Selected for 2020 LAUNCH Program

They represent a wide scope of the agriculture industry

Twenty Ohio agribusiness leaders will soon take part in the Ohio AgriBusiness Association’s 2020 LAUNCH (Leaders Achieving Unexpected New Career Heights) program.
Hosted by the Ohio AgriBusiness Association, in partnership with Shift-ology Communication, the LAUNCH program is geared to help Ohio agribusinesses Elevate People, Elevate Ideas and Elevate the Industry. Participants were identified by their companies as an emerging agribusiness leader: an individual with a desire to meet higher level goals than the scope of their current position, who seek to rise within their company.

The 20 Ohio AgriBusiness Association members enrolled in the 2020 LAUNCH program include:

  • • Scott Benjamin, Nutrien
    • Emily Bennett, Shift-ology Communication
    • Sam Boyce, Mid-Wood Inc.
    • Eric Couch, Heritage Cooperative
    • Aleigh Daniel, AgCredit
    • Kendra Dauer, INTL FCStone
    • Derek Fauber, Heritage Cooperative
    • Keith Hinds, United Producers, Inc.
    • Martin Hofbauer, Luckey Farmers, Inc.
    • Elizabeth Long, Ag Resource Management
    • Jennifer McMichael, United Equity Inc.
    • Benjamin Nething, Deerfield Ag Services
    • Chad Rosebrook, Legacy Farmers Cooperative
    • Chad Steffan, Mid-Wood Inc.
    • Mark Tangeman, Farm Credit Mid-America
    • Leland Tinklepaugh, Farm Credit Mid-America
    • Jamison Truebenbach, Global Impact Stem Academy
    • Ben Wheeler, United Producers, Inc.
    • Michael Williams, Co-Alliance, LLP
    • Ethan Witmer, Witmer's Feed and Grain, Inc.

“The participants of this year’s class represent a wide scope of the industry: from recent graduates just starting out to industry veterans ready to take the next step in management,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. “The LAUNCH program will help these emerging agribusiness leaders to lead change in addressing workforce pressures, consumer demands and governmental challenges, all while fostering new networks with their peers in the industry.”

LAUNCH is a transitional training – empowering employees to meet higher level goals, going beyond the scope of their current position. Agribusinesses continually compete with all industries to recruit and retain the best talent, but there is also a need to invest in those who are already passionate about agriculture.

Program topics and skills practiced include: personal insight, next-level leadership skills and decision making including strategic planning, critical thinking, change management, goal setting and organizational skills; communication and presentation skills; global issues in agriculture; sales and marketing principles; Ohio/regional trends in agribusiness; state and local government; and a personalized capstone project.

Other staples of the LAUNCH experience are networking opportunities, webinars and the capstone project – a key component of LAUNCH where the participant selects a strategic project to implement at his or her place of business.

More than 20 different speakers will provide their insight through multiple interactive sessions including Jim Canterucci, who will help participants learn to lead through strategic change. Canterucci, founder of Transition Management Advisors and Constituent Hub, specializes in advising companies as they innovate and implement large organizational changes. A visit to the Ohio State House with key leaders and a visit to Cargill’s Sidney location will also be a part of the winter program.

For additional information on OABA or the LAUNCH Program, contact Janice Welsheimer at (614) 326-7520 or

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