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Leadership Development Benefits Rural N.D.

Lead Local teaches participants about ethics, parliamentary procedure and conflict resolution, to help people develop the skills and confidence to serve effectively.

Lead Local
Nearly 240 people from 528 organizations have attended Lead Local

Finding enough people to serve on governmental and nonprofit organization boards can be challenging.

North Dakota has more than 8,000 boards, councils and committees, which means one of every 24 residents 18-plus years old would need to serve in a leadership role. NDSU Extension developed Lead Local, a one-day program that teaches participants about ethics, parliamentary procedure and conflict resolution, to help people develop the skills and confidence to serve effectively.

Board service especially can be an issue in rural areas.

Leadership and Civic Engagement program
Leadership and Civic Engagement program in Crosby, ND (NDSU photo)

“We all know if you are on one board, you’re probably on a few others as well,” says Carie Moore, a Soil Conservation District technician with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Cando who attended Lead Local. “So this training impacts many boards just through a single person.”

Nearly 240 people from 528 North Dakota organizations, 39 of them agriculture-related, have attended Lead Local. Many report that their boards save an hour of meeting time because their meetings run more efficiently now. If all 528 organizations saved an hour a month, that would be a yearly savings of $160,934 (based on Independent Sector’s value of volunteer time).

Rural Leadership North Dakota (RLND), Extension’s 18-month leadership development program, also impacts rural North Dakota substantially: 32 percent of the participants have been from the agriculture sector, and 19 have run for office. Three were elected to positions, including county commissioner. In addition, RLND participants have used their leadership skills to initiate projects such as:

  • Events, activities and blogs to educate youth and adults about North Dakota agriculture
  • Heifer exchange program for Dickinson State University’s agriculture program and Ag
    Club students
  • Farm and ranch agritourism operations
  • Calf feed-out program for Angus producers

“RLND was a real-world experience that I learned from and utilize every day,” says Dickinson-area rancher and RLND Class VI alumnus Will Meyer.

For more information:

Lynette Flage, 701-231-7782,
Marie Hvidsten, 701-231-5640,

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