Cornell University's Empire State Food and Agriculture Leadership Institute, also known as LEAD New York, is seeking applicants for the 2017 year.

Ithaca, N.Y.-based Cornell offers the adult professional development program to foster leadership in the food, agriculture and natural resource industries.

Program participants include growers, lenders, shippers, retailers, educators, marketers, consultants and service providers.

The two-year program boasts a who's who of alumni who are involved in leadership positions at food and agricultural organizations across the Northeast.

According to the program's website, the program aims to help "participants improve their leadership skills, level of self-awareness, issues analysis, critical thinking and civic engagement."

The program runs from October to April each year, with a total of 25 days of monthly seminars the first year.

Once participants complete the first year they can reapply for the second year, which requires a 30-day commitment and involves out-of-state and international travel, including a two-week study tour. Program graduates are then known as LEAD fellows, joining 400 others who've completed the program.

Applications are due March 1, with more information is available at