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Day 11- Gettysburg

This morning our group boarded the charter bus to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. CALF board of directors chairman Jeff Elder shared his leadership journey on the bus and we learned some facts about Gettysburg while en route. We were also joined by Jeff’s brother John and CALF alumni coordinator Deanna VanKlaveren. After a quick stop in Thurmont, Maryland we picked up our Gettysburg Battlefield Guide expert, Bruce Rice.

We completed the tour across the historic site stopping to address specific leadership lessons along the way. At McPherson’s Ridge, we discussed risk management. Key factors influencing risk management during the Civil War was communications, as it was not as immediate as what we are used to for today. Also, there had to be a focus on long term strategic planning. Sometimes, we become so focused on what is immediately presented to us, we do not analyze what the long term impacts might be.

Every moment was educational today as Licensed Gettysburg Battlefield Guide Bruce Rice accompanied Class 50

As the tour continued, emotional intelligence and communication were also presented as topics to consider. During the battle, there are several turning points where Union and Confederate forces may have felt demoralized or victorious. Key leadership had to be able to motivate their followers into what was a dismal situation. Understanding how to motivate in situations is a lesson we can all consider moving forward on our own paths. During lunch at the Gettysburg Hotel, Bruce Rice broke down several of President Lincoln’s speeches. The words of our 16th President were compared and contrasted with discussion about word choice and timing. As communication is ever in our minds being advocates for the industry, we can take with us ways to effectively deliver our message.

Members of Class 50 at Culp’s Hill

After lunch, we continued our tour to Seminary Ridge to continue focusing on motivation and inspiring performance. This included a preview of Picketts Charge.

Class 50 with guide Bruce Rice at Seminary Ridge.

We continued to the Peach Orchard where we focused on conflict. When Mead and Sickles were not able to work together due to interpersonal conflict between the two of them. The lack of trust they had in one another resulted in many men dying on July 2, 1863. As leaders, we need to resolve conflict and our our own self interests aside to protect the people who are relying on us. We continued to Little Round Top before driving past Picketts Charge. Our final stop was at The National Cemetery. The weight of the history weighed heavily on us all. Standing where the Gettysburg Address was delivered after walking through all of the intricacies of the three day battle, was a tremendous opportunity we are all very thankful for. Bruce read aloud President Lincoln’s words that laid the foundation to heal a broken Nation.

After departing Gettysburg, our class was able to synthesize on the bus identifying key take aways from our two week adventure. We reflected on former President Reagan’s three legged stool model in that we need three legs; if one is missing, the entire stool will collapse. Class 50 focused on three specific items that can help them be better in hopes of continuing to develop ourselves for the betterment of the agriculture industry.

Class 50 fellow Mike Newton synthesizing

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