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NDSU Extension Service, Published January 10 2012

NDSU Extension offers community resources through Bush Fellowship

FARGO - The North Dakota State University Extension Service, in partnership with the Bush Foundation, is offering community resources through the Bush Fellowship program.

The Bush Fellowship is an opportunity for individuals to build their capacity for leadership while working with others to tackle their communities' toughest problems.

"NDSU Extension is partnering with the Bush Foundation because the fellowship program is a great fit with our efforts to help individuals develop leadership skills and solve problems in their communities," says Extension community economic development and leadership agent Jodi Bruns.

A Bush Fellowship is a four-year commitment. The program provides funding during the first two years of the program. During the remaining two years, the Bush Fellows join with the foundation in advancing its goal of building leadership capacity throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 sovereign nations that share geography with the states. Funding ranges from $25,000 to $75,000.

The Bush Fellowship program is based on four core principles:

* Knowing yourself first: Effective leadership builds effective relationships that improve a community. Without clarity about your own values and beliefs, working with others effectively is impossible.

* Knowing your community deeply: This involves actively listening and learning to access the community's knowledge and resources.

* Fostering community action to solve a difficult public problem.

* Managing conflict: This is searching for answers in the differences among people.

"We believe each of these principles needs to be present if solutions to the many tough problems that exist in our communities are to be solved," Bruns says.

Who should apply for a Bush Fellowship? Anyone who:

* Cares deeply about his or her community and is committed to making it a better place for all

* Has a desire to work with others in the community, including those with whom they disagree, to find solutions to a tough problem affecting their community

* Understands that change needs to happen if solutions to problems are to be found and that the change needs to start with him or her

* Is passionate about learning and committed to improving his or her leadership to work with others to solve a tough problem

* Understands that risk, failure and conflict are not to be feared when working to find solutions to problems but are necessary to make progress

* Understands that the solutions to his or her community's toughest problems are to be found in the collective wisdom of the community

Application deadlines will be staggered. The first will be March 2, 2012. The other two are May 4 and July 9. Applications and more details are available at

http://www.bushfoundation.org/solutions/building-leadership-capacity/bush-

fellowship-program/how-to-apply.

3M executive Archibald Bush and his wife, Edyth, established the St. Paul, Minn.-based Bush Foundation in 1953.

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NDSU Agriculture Communication - Jan. 9, 2012

:Source: Jodi Bruns, (701) 349-3249, ext. 127, jodi.bruns@ndsu.edu

:Editor: Ellen Crawford, (701) 231-5391, ellen.crawford@ndsu.edu