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NDSU Extension Service, Published June 01 2013

Rural Leadership North Dakota seeking participants

FARGO - You still have time to apply to participate in the North Dakota State University Extension Service's next Rural Leadership North Dakota class, which begins in November.

This program is for anyone who wants to improve his or her organization,

business, farm or ranch operation, or community.

The application deadline is June 15.

The 18-month leadership development program includes in-state seminars with

experts; tours of agricultural and community businesses; out-of-state trips

(Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis in 2014) 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.

Participants learn leadership skills, such as thinking critically and

creatively, communicating effectively 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.

"RLND is designed for men and women who want to strengthen their leadership

skills and learn more about North Dakota, the U.S. and the world," says Marie Hvidsten, RLND program director. "It helps 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."

Participants also find a way to use the skills they've learned to improve their operation, business, organization, community or region. For example, two members of the RLND class of 2011-13 are working on building day-care centers for their communities. Day-care centers are a need for many North Dakota communities.

Other class members are involved in efforts such as updating their community's website or working with tribal youth on livestock projects and establishing a foundation for leadership training for youth.

The tuition for the RLND program is $3,750. 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.

Applicants must have been a state resident for at least a year and be able to attend all of the seminars.

For more information, to register or to nominate someone for the class, visit RLND's website at http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/rlnd, send an e-mail to

ndsu.ruralleadership@ndsu.edu or call (701) 231-5803.

Ninety-four people from 57 communities in 36 counties have participated in RLND since it began in November 2003.