Texas Tech University

2020 President's Exemplary Program Award

CASNR Matador Institute of Leadership Engagement Program

In 2018, the TTU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources began an innovative program to engage promising young adults with outstanding leadership in agricultural policy, natural resources, industry relations, and entrepreneurship. In an effort to address the increasing need for emerging leaders to fully understand the diverse issues, challenges, and opportunities affecting agriculture and rural America, the Matador Institute of Leadership Engagement (MILE) was designed to give CASNR undergraduate students a unique, high-impact learning experience. The MILE is a competitive, 14-student, three-semester leadership and professional development program that seeks to develop participants' personal and professional skills while exposing them to key issues affecting local, state, and national agriculture. Engaging MILE students with industry and community leaders is the program's primary focus.


In the program's two years, MILE has partnered with agricultural and livestock organizations, financial institutions, and non-profit groups who are providing funding and programming opportunities to enhance students' leadership development. But not only that; the knowledge-sharing that occurs between the leaders in these organizations and TTU students creates a unique, high-impact experience that will propel them into their careers. MILE is making a positive impact on students and communities alike by creating a pipeline of trained, young leaders who are equipped with skills, knowledge, and understanding of the issues facing rural communities and the agriculture industry.


Lindsay Kennedy, Assistant Professor of Practice, Agricultural Education and Communications, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
Cindy Akers, Associate Dean, Academic and Student Programs, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Outreach & Engagement