Rural Leadership North Dakota selects next class

Rural Leadership North Dakota selects next class


Twenty-seven people have been selected to participate in Rural Leadership North Dakota’s ninth class.

Rural Leadership North Dakota is an NDSU Extension leadership development program. Beginning in November, participants will spend 18 months developing skills to help them shape the future of their organization, community and state.

Class IX participants include producers, farm assistance program representatives, educators, city and county officials, health-care and bank personnel, a pastor and a communications specialist.

People from across the state were selected, including: Stephanie Blumhagen, Bottineau; Charlie Sorenson, Ross; Shana Forster, Minot; Karen George, Watford City; Christel Laskowski, Minot; Tom Jones, Wyndemere; Paula Moch, Braddock; Becky Peterson, Mandan; Kylee Merkel, Bismarck; Kelly Richardson, Dickinson; Dantae Anderson, Lemmon, South Dakota; Jasmin Fosheim-Turner, Hettinger; Eric Muller, Hillsboro; Julie Johnson, Hillsboro; Seth Erickson, Galesburg; Donna Georgeson, Michigan; Fayme Stringer-Henry, Grand Forks; Collin Voeller, Grand Forks; Kayla Lawson, Buffalo; Susan Milender, Valley City; Emily Alm, Streeter; Sandy Franke, Jamestown; Elicia Jacobson, Mandan; Andrea Nelson, Valley City; Kayla Miller, Wahpeton; Kristina Dick, Englevale; Kerri Kraft, Bismarck.

“Rural Leadership North Dakota is the premier statewide leadership program in North Dakota,” said Marie Hvidsten, RLND program director.

RLND includes in-state seminars with experts; tours of agricultural and community businesses; out-of-state trips to meet with agricultural, business and government leaders; and a trip to another country (destination to be determined) to learn about international agricultural and community issues. Previous classes visited Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Thailand, Vietnam and Chile.

The program helps participants enhance leadership skills, such as thinking critically and creatively, communicating effectively, self-awareness, decision making, strategic planning and managing conflict. Participants also learn about agricultural and rural policy, the agricultural economy and future trends that could affect North Dakota, finding innovative ways to fund local and regional development projects, marketing, civic engagement, the value of coalitions and partnerships, industry and community advocacy, and how to work with the state legislature.

In addition, participants create a network of contacts and resources they can continue to tap into for ideas, answers and support long after they graduate from the program. They also will practice the skills they learn by creating a project that benefits their operation, business, organization, community or region.

Since the program began in November 2003, 166 people from 78 communities in 39 counties have graduated from the program.

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