Applications open for Future Cotton Leaders Program

Applications are now open for the cotton industry’s premier entry-level leadership opportunity, the 2024 Australian Future Cotton Leaders Program (AFCLP), with 15 spaces available for the best and brightest young minds dedicated to developing their leadership knowledge, skills and experience.

Held every two years the AFCLP is run and coordinated by Cotton Australia with funding assistance from the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) and is designed for emerging leaders who are actively involved in a cotton enterprise (or a related position/sector) who are keen to develop personal and professional leadership knowledge and skills to an advanced level in a short timeframe.

Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay said Leadership is one of the key priorities of the cotton industry’s 5-year Strategic Plan and nurturing next generation leadership development is an important part of that.

“The key goal of the AFCLP is to identify and support those emerging leaders in developing their leadership knowledge, skills and experience and by doing so the entire industry benefits,” Mr Kay said.

“There has never been a time in Australian agriculture where there has been as much change in a rapid timeframe driven by innovation, research, technology and on-farm trials and experience.

“We expect that the global environment, consumer demands and enhancements in sustainability will see that pace of change accelerate and our next generation of leaders will be in a wonderful position to influence the path of Australian cotton and ensure we retain our reputation as the producers of some of the world’s best cotton.”

The AFCLP is best suited to people who are keen to progress their leadership skills and who are actively involved in a cotton enterprise, or related position and industry area such as cottonseed, ginning, extension, research, and consultancy.

In 2024, the program will feature face-to-face forums, interactive online discussions, one-on-one coaching and integration with industry activities. Participants will also undertake an individual project related to their area of interest, which will assist in developing their leadership skills in a real-life scenario.

Adam Kay said the AFCLP provides a springboard for the industry’s leaders to take on further study and move into senior positions within Australian cotton, with many former graduates on boards including Cotton Australia and CRDC, as well as industry committees and projects.

The 2024 program will conclude with a graduation ceremony at the 2024 Australian Cotton Industry Leadership Dinner on the Gold Coast in August. Download a nomination form: Applications close November 30.