Agricultural leaders visit Cornwall and SDG Counties

December 5, 2019

Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program

Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program

A group of future agricultural leaders from across Ontario visited Cornwall and SDG Counties this week as part of a unique executive leadership program.

Participants in the Advanced Agriculture Leadership Program (AALP) were in the area for a five-day seminar based at the NAV Centre. It’s one component of the AALP’s 18-month program that aims to develop the future leaders of agriculture, food and rural communities in Ontario.

Offered by the Rural Ontario Institute, the AALP consists of a series of seminars, study tours (North American and international) and small group issues analysis projects for agriculture, food and rural community clients. Experts guide participants to apply forward-thinking leadership skills through interactive workshops.

“We have always come east (for one of the seminars) and this time we thought, ‘Why not go a bit further east?’,” said Gabrielle Ferguson, Leadership Programs Director with the Rural Ontario Institute.

The current AALP class includes 21 participants ranging in age from 27 to 54, with the attendees representing communities from Kent to Glengarry counties and various points in between.

On Thursday, the final day of the seminar, Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement and SDG Counties Warden Jamie MacDonald visited and spoke to the participants about food and agriculture challenges and opportunities in the region.

“It’s always great to welcome visitors to our city and region,” said Mayor Clement. “Agriculture and food processing is a vital part of our economy and we have a lot of great success stories to showcase and share.”

Participants in the AALP are chosen for their different backgrounds, offering unique viewpoints and enabling thought-provoking, balanced discussion of critical issues. Study topics include government and political systems, marketing and economics, national and international trade, communication and organization skills, self-awareness and interrelationships, negotiation and decision making, consumers and social licence, media relations, agri-food trends, globalization and the dynamics of change.

About the Rural Ontario Institute

The Rural Ontario Institute delivers programs that develop strong leaders who are critical voices around opportunities and key issues facing rural and northern Ontario.

Established in 2010, the Rural Ontario Institute was created through the amalgamation of The Centre for Rural Leadership (TCRL) and The Ontario Rural Council (TORC).

For more information on the Rural Ontario Institute, please click here.

About the NAV Centre

Overlooking the St. Lawrence River, the NAV Centre is a training and conference venue offering access to more than 500 guest rooms, 70 state-of-the-art classrooms and meeting rooms, as well as an auditorium. Other amenities include a gymnasium and fitness facilities as well as multiple dining options. The NAV Centre is also an accredited member of the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC), provided for adhering to globally-recognized standards in hospitality service.

For more information on the NAV Centre, please click here.

Additional Events

Looking for other fun things to do in the area? Make sure to check out our Events page for info on upcoming events in Cornwall and SDG Counties.

Dine with us!

From casual to fine dining, local favourites to tastes from around the world, Cornwall has something for everyone. Check out one of our many great restaurants during your visit! For more information, please click here.


Make a night of it and stay in Cornwall! There are a variety of amazing accommodations, from cozy bed and breakfasts to full-service hotels. For more information, please click here.

Visit Cornwall!

Do you have other questions? Cornwall Tourism can help. Email us at to request a copy of our Visitor Guide or contact us at (613) 938-4748. You can also stop by the Cornwall Tourism office at the Cornwall Civic Complex (100 Water Street). The office is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm – we would be happy to answer your questions and provide you with recommendations and information to make your visit to Cornwall even more memorable!

You can also reach out to us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram!

Article by Kevin Lajoie