U.S. State Dept. leadership program brings European leaders to Chenango County

CHENANGO COUNTY Ė Chenango County was recently host to policy experts, advisors, and leaders from Europe, taking part in the US State Departmentís International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The IVLP is the U.S. Department of Stateís premier professional exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts.

The leadership program, which traces its roots to 1940, aims to open communications and create mutual understanding between U.S. and Foreign citizens in leadership roles. Of the tens of thousands of participants, more than 335 are present or former Chiefs of State or Heads of Government.

Upon the request of Ruth Ragonese, Executive Director of the International Center of Syracuse, Steven Palmatier, Industrial and Workforce Development Liaison, tailored the local itinerary to align with the programís focus on agriculture, trade, and U.S. food policy. International Visitors typically start in Washington, D.C and travel to 4 U.S. communities over three weeks. Locally, tour stops included the Unadilla Valley Central School Districtís greenhouse and Marshman Dairy Farms in Oxford.

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