Rural Leadership North Dakota Announces 10th Class; 17 People Have Been Selected To Participate

Rural Leadership North Dakota (RLND) is a North Dakota State University Extension leadership development program designed to empower individuals from across the state, fostering their growth as leaders for rural communities and equipping them to navigate agricultural and rural policy and emerging trends that may impact North Dakota's future.

Class X encompasses a wide array of talents and expertise, with members from various sectors such as ranching, farming, agricultural research, manufacturing, community services, agricultural marketing, local food initiatives, government, and rural development. The class is set to embark on their 18-month leadership development journey in November 2023.

Those selected for Class X are:

• J. Andresen, Hillsboro

• Anna Ross, Belcourt

• Audrey Kalil, Williston

• Barbara Mothershead, Rolette

• Brandon Baity, Moorhead

• Christie Jaeger, Esmond

• Denise Andress, Mandan

• Emily Ptacek, Verona

• Florija Naas, McVille

• Heather Schneider, Grand Forks

• Hilde van Gijssel, Valley City

• Katie Jane Mairs, Lisbon

• Kyle Klapper, Hillsboro

• Melinda Goodman, Minot

• Trinity Nelson, Valley City

• Emma Cook, Killdeer

• James Zorn, Cavalier

"These individuals from across the state share a desire to make their communities, industries and the state of North Dakota stronger," says Katie Tyler, NDSU Extension specialist and RLND program director. "They are ready to enhance their own leadership skills while fostering a culture of mutual learning and growth amongst themselves."

Class members will engage in a series of experiences, including seven in-state workshops featuring tours of agricultural and community businesses, a regional seminar and national seminar, providing opportunities to interact with influential figures in agriculture, business, and government. Additionally, an international study tour will allow them to gain insight into global agricultural policies and rural development, following the footsteps of previous classes who explored countries such as Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Thailand, Vietnam, Chile, and Spain.

"The graduation gala to celebrate Class IX in November 2023 will bring the total RLND graduate count to over 150 individuals," says Tyler. "This marks a significant milestone, with these accomplished leaders making a lasting impact throughout North Dakota."

Admission to the program remains highly competitive, involving a formal application and interview process. Applications for the next RLND class will open in January 2025.

The funding for the RLND program is provided by NDSU Extension, participant tuition fees, and generous contributions from agribusinesses, farm organizations, program alumni, and others supporting the program. The comprehensive budget for the RLND program amounts to approximately $16,000 per class member over the course of the two-year program cycle. These contributions cover the majority of program expenses, with participant tuition fees contributing to the remaining portion. Each participant contributes $4,000 in tuition fees towards their participation in the program.


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