TEST: CALS Leadership Office

Cultivating leaders for success in agriculture and life sciences.

Cultivating Leaders

Agriculture built North Carolina, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences cultivated the leaders who have made it possible. We continue to develop future leaders who “think and do” through influence, innovation and implementation of new technologies, creative ideas and sound policies.

Through our leadership development initiatives, we support our current leaders and prepare the next generation of those who serve our state, nation and world.

Faculty Leadership

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CALS Proud

Agricultural Leadership Learning Institute

Student Leadership

STEAM student Katelyn Thomas

College is the ideal time for students to foster leadership skills.  The CALS Leadership Office offers students different programs to equip them with the tools they need to be successful leaders while on campus and beyond college.  The CLO works to provide our students with experiences and information to help them be successful, to realize their potential, and to have a positive impact on the communities they serve.

Jesse Helms Agricultural Legislative Internship Program

The Jesse Helms Agricultural Legislative Internship Program was officially established at a dinner on April 5, 2005, following the retirement of Senator Helms to honor his public service to North Carolina’s agricultural community.  The Helms Program, which is an endowed fund that was established from the proceeds raised at the 2005 dinner, is intended to provide students majoring in agricultural degree programs from NC State University’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and/or the NC A&T State University’s School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences with the opportunity to compete for agriculturally-focused internships in Washington, DC.  Students selected as interns will work in a North Carolina U.S. Senate or North Carolina US House office from mid-May to late July.  Recipients will receive a stipend to cover a significant portion of their living expenses during the internship.  The application process begins in early January and involves a written application and interview process.  Supporters of this program include the North Carolina Farm Bureau and commodity group leaders.

CALS Proud Students: Leadership Strategies for Success

This half-day workshop was created in the fall of 2017 to provide the leaders of CALS student organizations with tools they need to successfully lead their respective clubs.  Student leaders learn about different leadership styles and identify their own style.  They also gain knowledge about the success principles needed for leading an organization.  The student participants also gain an appreciation for the value of philanthropy as a part of leadership.  Co-sponsors of this program include CALS Academic Programs and Dr. Joe and Debbie Gordon.

Agricultural Leadership Learning Institute (ALLI) for Graduate Students

One way in which higher education can cultivate strong leaders is to provide graduate students with the opportunity to learn, develop and apply leadership skills that will serve them well into their chosen careers.  The Agricultural Leadership Institute (ALLI – pronounced “ally”) for Graduate Students program “plants the seeds” that lead to the development of skills needed within future leaders.  Over the course of one academic year, ALLI participants attend and engage in programs and projects that lead to sound leadership proficiencies which help them be more marketable and competitive for positions in the agribusiness.  Successful completion of this program results in the participants earning a certificate that they can add to their CV or resume.  The CALS Directors of Graduate Programs support this initiative through nominations of eligible graduate students and funding.

CALS Ambassadors

CALS Ambassadors are dedicated student leaders who volunteer their time and energy to serve students, faculty, alumni, and friends of the college. They represent CALS in recruiting prospective students, educating peers, and networking with professionals.

Interested in becoming a part of CALS Ambassadors, or have a question and would like an answer from a current student? Email our Ambassadors at cals_ambassador@ncsu.edu. You will receive a response within 72 hours.

Agri-Life Council

The College of Agriculture & Life Sciences Agri-Life Council is an umbrella organization consisting of representatives from student organizations in the college. The vision of the Agri-Life Council is to make a positive contribution to the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences by unifying our student representatives while promoting leadership through fellowship, scholarship, and service. The Agri-Life Council’s mission is to serve as the voice of all students in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences by promoting academics and student life.

AMP: Amplify My Potential

Amplify my Potential, or AMP, is a new program we are offering to our students. The mission of AMP is to provide development opportunities for Agricultural Institute first-year students to help them recognize their potential and create a positive change within themselves, the school community, and the world. The program will allow students to build relationships with each other and the faculty and staff at NCSU as well as begin to build a professional network. Visit the Agricultural Institute website for more information about the AMP program.

The Warren Leadership Program

The Warren Leadership Program is an innovative one-year program for sophomore, junior and senior students in CALS who have an interest in and potential for leadership and public service in agriculture.

Pre-College Programs

It’s never too early to start training the next generation of leaders. That’s why we provide a number of different opportunities for youth leadership development, from statewide organizations with tens of thousands of members to summer institutes and smaller, community-based programs.These programs are designed to help children of all ages develop the skills they need to succeed. We believe young people are the future. And the future is now.

North Carolina 4-H

4-H is the largest youth organization in North Carolina, with more than 208,000 participants.  Guided by the “Head, Heart, Hands and Health” credo.  4-H’ers gain leadership citizenship and life skills.

North Carolina FFA

FFA is a dynamic youth organization within agricultural education that changes lives and prepares students for premier leadership, personal growth and career success.

External Stakeholders

Older gentleman in the middle of a field
Extension agent looks over research crops planted in Kinston. PHOTO BY ROGER WINSTEAD


The college’s external stakeholders provide tremendous support to our organization. Leaders from our commodity groups, agribusinesses, farms and communities all have a fundamental role in the success of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Our college, in turn, works to provide opportunities where our external stakeholders can connect, network and learn leadership skills that further their success.

The North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission Agricultural Leadership Development Program

For more than 30 years, this innovative program has prepared outstanding agriculturists for the leadership challenges they encounter from personal, organizational and agricultural perspectives.

Food Systems Leadership Institute

This two-year program provides executive leadership education nationally for leaders from higher education, industry and government as related to the food and agricultural system.  Participants develop strategies to handle the leadership challenges and opportunities of the future.

Executive Farm Management Program

The science, technology and business of farming in the 21st century are changing rapidly, and to compete on a global scale, farmers need to know not just how to grow a good crop but how to effectively lead complex, management-intensive operations.  Dr. Blake Brown, the Hugh C. Kiger professor in CALS’ Agricultural and Resource Economics, has teamed with East Carolina University’s College of Business and the Center for Innovation Management Studies in NC State University’s Poole College of Management to provide an Executive Farm Management Program.

The NC Farm School

Dr. Gary Bullen, an Extension Associate at NC State University in CALS’ Agricultural and Resource Economics, developed and directs a farm school with the mission of increasing the number of sustainable and economically viable farms in North Carolina.  Eight business-planning seminars taught by extension specialist, agents, and experienced farmers. These sessions give students the tools to create viable farm business plans over a 7 month time frame. The school is easy to fit into a busy schedule by providing one class each month and each business session focuses on different areas of a business plan, including financial management and effective marketing strategies. The goal of NC Farm School is to allow a pathway of success for farmers to generate profitable businesses. The program also includes six field trips to working farms led by innovative, experienced farmers and agricultural professionals. Participants learn economically sustainable farming methods in a range of production systems, including fruits, vegetables, specialty crops, poultry, animal husbandry, and agritourism.