Ag bus students selected for leadership program

April 11, 2017

Brandon Hanson, Michael BarrAg Bus juniors, Brandon Hanson, from Iowa Falls, and Michael Barr, Kellogg, are two of the 20 students selected for the 2017-2018 Vermeer International Leadership Program.

A unique leadership program takes Iowa State University students beyond the classroom to better understand leadership and global challenges – such as clean drinking water, poverty and food insecurity – and the impact for international corporations.

The Vermeer International Leadership Program is a year-long, in-depth cohort leadership experience in which students learn how companies operate on an international scale. Launched in fall 2015, the program is sponsored by Vermeer Corporation, a global industrial and agricultural equipment company. It is administered through Iowa State’s Leadership Studies Program, coordinated by the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics.

The 20 students selected for the 2017-2018 academic year cohort will identify and research a global challenge as part of their leadership courses, engage in leadership development activities and travel to Vermeer headquarters in Pella to interview team members. They will also spend a week at the Vermeer Europe, Middle East and Africa facility in Goes, Netherlands, over the university’s spring break.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for students to study leadership through a global lens," said Tara Edberg, lecturer in leadership studies, who coordinates the program. "The first two years of the program were a success, and I'm excited to see the partnership between Vermeer and the Leadership Studies Program at Iowa State continue to grow with the selection of our third group of students.”

A new cohort of students will participate every year over the four years of the program. All full-time Iowa State students are eligible to apply. Students are selected through an application and interview process, with priority given to students who have an interest in engineering, business or agriculture with at least two academic years left in their plan of study. The 2017-2018 cohort of 20 students was selected from 89 applications.

Financial support from Vermeer for the program provides each student selected with a travel stipend for their international experience; a $2,000 scholarship; and a variety of leadership opportunities including retreats, leadership assessments, collaboration opportunities, and networking with Vermeer and ISU leaders. The students selected also take one leadership course together in both the fall and spring semesters.