In mid-1989, a group of twenty individuals representing virtually all segments of Kansas agriculture met to discuss the need and potential for an extensive educational program designed to build a leadership base for Kansas agriculture and its related industries. The first board meeting for the Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership program was held October 3, 1989 and KARL, Inc. was formed in 1990. The first class of 30 participants began their leadership development in 1991. Since then, over 330 participants have completed the program.
Since its inception, over $4.5 million has been raised and spent on this program from over 900 entities including individuals, farm and civic organizations, businesses, foundations and corporations. That money has been invested to put over 330 agricultural and rural leaders through 7,150 hours of training and experience in Kansas and Washington DC, as well as Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Belgium, France, England, the People’s Republic of China, Argentina, Australia & New Zealand, Mexico & Costa Rica, Brazil, Ghana, India, Vietnam and Peru.