Proven Effectiveness

Founded in 1990 by forward-thinking leaders, the Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership program has a proven history of developing leaders.

Growing New Leadership

We provide first-class executive level development with challenging and illuminating educational programs and a forum for continuous engagement.

Ethical Leadership

KARL is injecting new leadership into a dwindling pool at a time when representative leadership is critically needed.

Cultural Understanding

Graduates develop a "global" focus to prepare for the enormity of challenges that a more inter-dependent and interconnected global economy presents.

CLASS XIV Call for Applications

 Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership Recruiting Class XIV Candidates

 The Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership (KARL) program has announced a challenge to rural community and agricultural leaders across the state to help surface the pool of candidates for KARL Class XIV (2017-2019).

Al Davis, President of KARL, Inc and KARL Program director asks current key leaders to nominate emerging leaders in their spheres of influence. The application process for Class XIV is open now through April 15.  Selection takes place in May after the interview process. The pool of candidates will be vying for fellowships in the 14th offering of the intensive program now set for operation from May of 2017 to May of 2019.

“The class members evaluate each seminar and the curriculum committee of the board weighs every suggestion for improvement with trends and issues critical to the future of agriculture, our rural communities, state, national and global trends. The end result is a constantly evolving curriculum.  The KARL Program will be increasing the use of group interaction through strategic thinking and collaboration techniques at the request of the class members.  “The class members enjoy the challenge of working as teams with differing viewpoints to solve problems so we will be featuring collaboration in the forefront of every single seminar,” according to Davis.

KARL’s mission is to provide first-class leadership development for agricultural and rural stakeholders by designing and offering challenging and illuminating education and enrichment programs, as well as a forum for continuous engagement, Davis said. The program doesn’t end with the two year training experience.  Rather, the alumni become lifelong members of the KARL Program. The two-year KARL Program training experience carries a value over $26,000 per person. Since no tax revenues are utilized for the program, funding is provided by contributions from the private sector, according to director Davis.  Donations from individuals, organizations, companies, corporations and foundations provide 4/5ths of the program’s budget. Participants pay a tuition fee each of the two years for the remaining costs. Anyone wishing to invest in their own future by supporting the program can make tax deductible contributions directly to KARL at 101 Umberger Hall, Manhattan KS 66506. Call (785)532-6300 to nominate a qualified young leader, or to personally request an application.  For more information visit the program website to learn more about the current class curriculum, alumni, program goals and more at

KARL Applications can be downloaded in PDF here.pdf or as a word document here.docx

Dec. 1 – Pay it Forward Campaign Launched



Dear KARL Friends and Alumni,

December is Pay it Forward month for the KARL Program. Pay it forward is an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed, whereas it is repaid it to others instead of to the original benefactor.

Recently, the Huck Boyd Foundation recognized Bob Dole for his accomplishment and impact on Kansas during his life. Dole represented Kansas in the House from 1961 to 1969 and the Senate from 1969 to 1996. During the presentation, Dole and Nancy Kassebaum Baker, who represented Kansas in the U.S. Senate from 1978 to 1997, made a few statements that I would like to share.

“A major part of the State is rural, it is important to recognize how vital rural communities are and the importance of community involvement on many local, state and national issues,” said Kassebaum Baker. Furthermore, Dole stated, “Leadership does not just drop out of the sky. We’ve got a lot of problems, and we don’t need sound bites or tweets, we need solutions.”

The Pay it forward principle is one that I try to live by every day. I was a 4-Her, that is why I spent 18 years as a 4-H agent. I was in FFA, so that is why I went to the American Royal for 5 years I was a wrestler, and that is why I volunteer and coach. I am a KARL Class V graduate, and that is why I am here.

Over the past 26 years plus of the KARL program, we have all benefited either directly or indirectly. That only happened because hundreds of other people paid it forward and continue to pay it forward. It did not matter whether it was a Republican or Democratic in the white house or if grain and cattle prices were high or low, people just gave to make Kansas a better place, and invested in the leaders we have developed. I am asking you to help us by donating to the KARL Class XIII.

We still have the international trip to Chile which will cost over $100,000. If you cannot donate that much, we will gladly accept smaller cash donations, grain donations, or set up an automatic deduction so that you may not have to worry about it. KARL is still a 501c3 charitable donation, and all your donation are tax deductible, just one of the many benefits of your end-of-year giving. Thank you for your time and dedication to the KARL Program and being on the forefront in contributing to leaders in your community and in Kansas. As Bob Dole leaves it, “There is still work to be done.”

– Al Davis, President

Charitable Giving: Attributing to the Success of KARL

In the midst of the season of Thanksgiving, feelings are centered mainly around gratitude, but there is an attitude of charitable giving that surrounds this time as well. Charitable giving is the single act in which you as a donor may be benefitted just as much as the one who receives your donation. It is the reason behind this season of Thanksgiving, because without giving by others, the very purpose of being thankful would be diminished.

So, why donate to the KARL Program? According to Al Davis, president of the KARL program, “The survival of this country and the world depends on rural development and rural agriculture. The one things that keeps countries from fighting is having affordable food and ample supply within the world. KARL gives people the knowledge, experiences and networks to make logical decisions for improving their quality of life in rural America.” Over $100,000 dollars per year is donated to the KARL program, please consider donating to attribute to the education of the current class members, like many donors did while you were within the program! Please consider KARL in your charitable contributions. You may donate in various ways, through estate planning or by setting up an automatic deduction with your bank. We also accept grain gifts that we sell immediately or cash donations that may be sent to the following address:

101 Umberger Hall

Manhattan, KS 66506

Thank you for your consideration in donating to the success of the KARL Program!

Student Assistant at KARL

kaylor3Hello! My name is Kaylor Nordhus, I am the new Projects Coordinator. I will be reaching out to you within the next couple of months about making updates to your profile. I am a freshman at Kansas State University, studying Apparel and Textiles Marketing and Mass Communications, and a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority. I am originally from Wichita, KS, and graduated from Bishop Carroll Catholic High School. While I live in Wichita, my family owns a farm in Harper County. Once I graduate, I am hoping to become a Public Relations representative for a fashion label, perhaps working hand-in-hand to improve the relationship between the apparel and textile market and the agricultural industry. I am excited to see where these next four years of college take me!


Donor Spotlight

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Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership
about_us_image2KARL graduates are on every major commodity association board, several commissions and multiple boards, advisories and councils from the local through national level. Our graduate pool has seen many state agricultural leaders rise to service… Read more
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