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Twelve Graduate from Ohio AgriBusiness Association’s LAUNCH Program

The program elevates leaders in Ohio's agribusiness industry

Twelve Ohio agribusiness leaders were recognized as the latest graduates of Ohio AgriBusiness Association’s (OABA) LAUNCH program.

Hosted by the OABA, in partnership with Shift-ology Communication, the LAUNCH program is geared to help Ohio agribusinesses Elevate People, Elevate Ideas and Elevate the Industry. Participants were identified by their companies as emerging agribusiness leaders: individuals with a desire to meet higher level goals than the scope of their current positions, who seek to rise within their companies.

The 12 OABA member graduates who successfully completed the 2022 LAUNCH program include:

  • Cassie Jo Arend, Shift-ology Communication
  • Perry Barnett, Axis Seed
  • A.J. Bischoff, Schlessman Seed
  • Cristen Cramer, Legacy Farmers Cooperative
  • Jim Christel, Heritage Cooperative
  • Michelle Doughty, Heritage Cooperative
  • Amy Henry, Global Impact STEM Academy
  • Dean McMahan, Morral Companies
  • Caleb Penwell, Nutrien Ag Solutions
  • Steve Ramseyer, Deerfield Ag Services
  • Heather Rindler, Brookside Laboratories, Inc.
  • Laura Swinehart, Nutrien Ag Solutions

LAUNCH is a transitional training – empowering employees to meet higher level goals, going beyond the scope of their current position. Agribusinesses continually compete with all industries to recruit and retain the best talent, but there is also a need to invest in those who are already passionate about agriculture.

Program topics and skills practiced included: personal insight, next-level leadership skills and decision making including strategic planning, critical thinking, change management, goal setting and organizational skills; communication and presentation skills; global issues in agriculture; sales and marketing principles; Ohio/regional trends in agribusiness; state and local government; and a personalized capstone project.

Other staples of the LAUNCH experience are networking opportunities, webinars and the capstone project – a key component of LAUNCH where the participant selects a strategic project to implement at his or her place of business.

More than 20 different speakers provided their insights through multiple interactive sessions including Jim Canterucci, who helped participants learn to lead through strategic change. Canterucci, founder of Transition Management Advisors and Constituent Hub, specializes in advising companies as they innovate and implement large organizational changes.

“The LAUNCH program provides the next generation of agricultural leaders with the tools they need to take the next steps in their careers. Participants hone their leadership skills while also making lifelong connections with peers in the industry,” said Chris Henney, CAE, OABA president and CEO. “This year’s class shows there is great promise for the future of our industry.”

For additional information on OABA or the LAUNCH Program, contact Janice Welsheimer at 614-326-7520 or

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