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Tomorrow’s agribusiness leader will need to be nimble and lead change in addressing workforce pressures, consumer demands, and governmental challenges, all while fostering networks and collaborative work styles. Emerging agribusiness leaders can build their skills through LAUNCH – Leaders Achieving Unexpected New Career Heights – to rise to the challenges and opportunities facing agribusinesses today and tomorrow.

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.

OABA is now accepting applications for the 2024 LAUNCH Class. Applications are due October 31, 2023. Click here for more information on the application process.  



Emerging leaders with a desire to meet higher-level goals than the scope of their current position. The course is designed for leaders with all levels of experience – from entry-level to seasoned employees – who seek to rise within their company.

Young leaders or more established managers will benefit from personal insight, strengthening their communication and business acumen, and finding their voice and influence in the company and the industry. LAUNCH is an employer’s opportunity to say to their employee “I believe in you and you have future desired growth and opportunity in our business.”



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 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.

What’s a Capstone Project? One key component of LAUNCH is an individual capstone project where the participant selects a strategic project to implement at his or her place of business. Past participants have conducted feasibility studies, changed Ohio law, developed new branch locations, launched new product lines, and created training programs with their employers, amounting to millions of dollars of return on investment for Ohio agribusiness.



The LAUNCH program consists of two sessions, three days each, held:

  • January 10-12 – Columbus area
  • February 21-23 – Marion area

Other staples of the LAUNCH experience are networking opportunities, webinars and the capstone project. By committing to the program, participants are expected to attend all session days, complete the capstone project and make every effort to participate in the networking opportunities.



Past participants share what they gained from LAUNCH

This program is extremely beneficial to both current and future leaders in the ag industry.  Presenters and workshop content is very up-to-date and helpful in today’s landscape. There are already skills and tools that I am using in the workplace. – Bailey Elchinger, INTL FCStone Inc.

It was very interesting and challenging. The LAUNCH program pushed us a little bit, but in the end, it turned out good. I’d definitely do it all over again! – Seth Gerber, Gerber & Sons

Great opportunity to meet extremely high-quality people in the ag industry, network with them, learn from them, and also get some great teaching and be able to learn in a setting that’s geared towards ag. A lot of programs like this are more general. It was great to find a program that was geared towards our industry and can improve the future leaders of our industry. – Scott Crowder, Central Ohio Farmers Co-op

It gave me confidence that my company believed in me to be a leader. I would recommend it to any company in Ohio. I feel it’s very successful. – Jill Boyd, Morral Companies, LLC

It was a great experience where I got to meet and network with a lot of individuals from Oho Agribusinesses. We learned a lot about how to be better managers and better people. I’ll hopefully be able to go out and serve the Ohio Agribusiness a lot better from this experience. – Jerry Taylor, The Andersons, Inc.




Registration for this event is different than most OABA training opportunities. Those interested in participating will need to go through the following short application process.

  1. Applicants must work for a member organization/company of the Ohio AgriBusiness Association.
  2. Aspiring leaders will need to talk with their supervisor and/or company leadership to determine if the interested individual has approval to commit to the program.
  3. Individuals must fully complete official application, which includes a letter of recommendation. 
  4. Applicants and their supervisors and/or company leadership must sign a letter of commitment.
  5. Applicants must email a headshot photo to by October 31, 2023.
  6. Applicants must email the official application to by October 31, 2023, or by mail – postmarked by October 31, 2023 – to:

Ohio AgriBusiness Association
Janice Welsheimer
5151 Reed Road, Suite 126-C
Columbus, OH 43220



OABA will invoice each applicant’s organization for the one-time participation fee of $3,900 upon selection. This registration fee covers costs relating to both sessions, including hotel accommodations and meals. Payment is due by January 3, 2024.

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