RLND seeking participants for 8th class

NDSU Extension
Farm Forum

If you want to improve your community, business, organization, and farm or ranch operation and develop your personal skills, the North Dakota State University Extension Service’s Rural Leadership North Dakota program can help.

Rural Leadership North Dakota (RLND) is looking for participants for its eighth class, which begins in November 2017.

RLND is an 18-month leadership development program that prepares leaders for North Dakota’s future. The program includes in-state seminars with experts; tours of agricultural and community businesses; out-of-state trips (Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis in 2018) 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 have visited Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Thailand and Vietnam.

The program helps participants enhance their leadership skills, such as thinking critically and creatively, communicating effectively, self-awareness, decision making, strategic planning and managing conflict. They 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.

“Rural Leadership North Dakota is the premier statewide leadership program in North Dakota,” says Marie Hvidsten, RLND program director. “If you are seeking a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn more about yourself, the state, country and world to help move North Dakota forward, then we want you in Class VIII of the RLND program.”

RLND was an invaluable experience for its graduates. For example, Vicki Monsen used the knowledge she gained in RLND while working with the local economic development group in Watford City to build two eight-plex housing units for seniors in the community.

“Without the RLND program, I would not have taken on a project of this magnitude,” she says. “RLND has given me the confidence that I can make a difference in my community.”

The tuition for the RLND program is $4,000. That covers all meals, hotels and travel expenses, such as buses during in-state seminars and airfare to out-of-state seminars. Participants are responsible for their travel costs to in-state seminars and points of departure for out-of-state seminars.

The deadline to apply for RLND Class VIII (2017-19) is June 30. Applicants must have been a state resident for at least a year and be able to attend all of the seminars.

For more information or to apply or nominate someone for the class, visit RLND’s website at www.ag.ndsu.edu/rlnd, send an email to ndsu.ruralleadership@ndsu.edu or call 701-231-5803. Also check out RLND on Facebook.

One hundred forty-three people from 78 communities in 38 counties have participated in RLND since it began in November 2003.

RLND’s Class VII visits the Mills City Museum in Minneapolis during a seminar. NDSU photo