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IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders and IFAJ/Corteva Master Class Boot Camps Meet Virtually

As COVID continues to rage around the world, stifling travel, the IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders and IFAJ/Corteva Master Class have been convening via Zoom, making the most of online networking and learning opportunities.

Participants usually meet together at a “boot camp” immediately prior to the IFAJ Global Congress for two days of leadership, networking and professional development workshops. This year, each group is meeting separately to keep the size of the Zoom conversations manageable and make it easy to share ideas in a series of four two-hour sessions, says Addy Rossi, IFAJ secretary-general. The final session for both groups will be a combined social hour to expand the networking opportunities, Rossi adds.

The Young Leaders have, so far, heard from Patrick Charlton, vice president-Europe for Alltech. Later in the month, they will be addressed by Robert Walker, CEO of Alltech’s Keenan feed technology business. Each session also includes a talk from a Young Leader from a previous class.

Members of the 2021 IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders class include:

  • Jessica Ahedor, Ghana
  • Emmanuel Ballah, Liberia
  • Wyatt Bechtel, USA
  • Alexander Böck, Austria
  • Seedy Darboe, The Gambia
  • Stephanie Gordon, Canada
  • Clint Jasper, Australia
  • Claire McCormack, Ireland
  • Kisali Simba, United Republic of Tanzania
  • Ruth Wills, Great Britain


The Master Class is off to a similarly exciting start. Former IFAJ president Owen Roberts explored the future of agricultural journalism, and Gregg Schmidt, chief communications officer for Corteva, will address the group in its next session. As with the Young Leaders, this year’s Master Class will meet an graduate of the program during each session.

Members of the 2021 IFAJ/Corteva Master Class include:


  • Ruth Akinwunmi-King, Nigeria
  • Farah Atyyat, Jordan
  • Daniel Duarte, Brazil
  • Martin Andrés Ghisio, Argentina
  • Halkawt Mohammad, Iraq
  • Byenda Prosper Munda, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Misheck Nyirongo, Zambia
  • Josephine Okojie, Nigeria
  • Aizan Rymbayeva, Kazakhstan
  • Alejandro Saavedra, Chile
  • Tamba Tengbeh, Sierra Leone
  • Keddimetse Vanderwestguizen, Botswana
  • Arimo Moi Williams, Uganda


“Within a clearly different context, but at the same time charged with enthusiasm, the IFAJ—together with Corteva and Alltech—inaugurated another cycle of their training programs. This year’s Young Leaders and Master Class participants are not only dedicated and committed, but they also represent a promising future for our industry,” says Rossi. “They have participated in the first sessions with a great attitude, an excellent perspective, and they are excited to meet and learn together. Thanks to our sponsors, Alltech and Corteva, they have already enjoyed some very interesting sessions and will learn a lot in the coming weeks. Both programs will help them, their guilds, and the IFAJ in the future.”