Interim President Announced

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The Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership (KARL) Board of Directors announces J.J. Jones as the new interim president of the KARL Program, effective July 1, 2017. Jones will replace Alvin Davis, who resigned from the position.
As interim president, Jones will usher in a new strategy to further the vision, mission, and direction of the premier long-time leadership program focused on developing excellence in rural and agriculture industry leadership.
“J.J. [Jones] brings deep roots in agriculture and a passion for leadership to the program,” said Jerry McReynolds, Chairman of the KARL Board of Directors. “That background is a perfect fit to kick start the new strategy and vision the board of directors have set.”
“Our program needs to revitalize and evolve in the same way our leaders have over the years,” added McReynolds. “Our goal has always been to provide a premier leadership program that will benefit rural Kansas and the agriculture industry.”
Steve Baccus, vice-chair of the board, said the board acknowledges the resignation of Davis prompted the shift in strategy and direction, and says Jones will be able to “step in and get Class 14 started.”
“J.J. is connected to agriculture, and as a graduate of Class 10 will be able to help guide the next class as they prepare for their two-year journey,” said Baccus.
The KARL board recently introduced the 14th class, and are committed to their success moving forward.
Jones is currently a Senior Account Manager with Look East Public Relations firm building industry coalitions to help build trust and confidence in today’s food system. He has worked for the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Seaboard Foods, Kansas Department of Commerce as well as The Agribusiness Retailers Association, The Beef Council and others. He has organized and lead over 30 trade missions around the world on behalf of Kansas farmers and ranchers and Kansas agri-businesses.
The program will begin a search for a permanent president with the application process opening on June 21 and closing on July 15. Anyone interested in applying for the position is encouraged to contact Janice Lierz, executive assistant, at the KARL office located in Umberger Hall on the Kansas State University campus. Janice can be reached at or by calling 785-532-6300.
The Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership (KARL) program is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational organization dedicated to developing leaders for agriculture, business, and rural communities. KARL graduates are on every major commodity association board, several commissions and multiple boards, advisories and councils from the local through national level. Visit or the organization’s Facebook page for more information.