Extension and Ag Research News


Rural Leadership North Dakota Class IX celebrates graduation gala and 20 years of leadership excellence

Thirteen North Dakotans completed NDSU's Rural Leadership North Dakota leadership development program in 2023.

The ninth class of North Dakota State University’s Rural Leadership North Dakota (RLND) completed their four-year leadership development journey with a graduation gala at the Ramada Bismarck Hotel. The evening celebrated their achievements and also commemorated two decades of RLND’s impactful presence in North Dakota.

In the 20 years since the inception of RLND, 192 North Dakotans have completed the leadership development program, which helps develop agricultural and community leaders to strengthen rural North Dakota.

While RLND is normally an 18-month leadership development program, this year’s graduating class finished four years after beginning the program, as global events altered timelines for their national and international seminars and tours.

“This class’s motto, ‘Navigating change together with impact, through self-awareness and service to the community, and with a collective commitment to connection,’ is a testament to their shared experience,” says Katie Tyler, NDSU Extension specialist and RLND program director.

Lynette Flage, associate director of NDSU Extension, honored the class’s accomplishments of Class IX and urged them to continue making a positive impact in their communities and organizations. Each of the 13 graduating RLND participants received a plaque bearing the class motto.

The RLND Alumni Association awarded the prestigious Eagle Award to Cory McCaskey of Class V, recognizing his unwavering dedication to the RLND program, RLND Alumni Association Foundation, the development of the association website, and his numerous leadership roles within the association and RLND Council over the years.

Marie Hvidsten, emeritus director of RLND, received the RLND Leaders Award, presented by Cory McCaskey, current RLND Council chair, along with Scott Peterson and Scott Ressler, RLND Council members. The award acknowledged Hvidsten's exceptional leadership, with examples highlighted through the lens of the five leadership practices from the book, “The Leadership Challenge.”

The RLND Council presented the RLND Champion Award to the CHS Foundation for their outstanding commitment and contributions to the RLND program, significantly impacting the development of the next generation of agricultural leaders.

The graduation gala raised over $3,000 for the RLND Alumni Association, which continues to strengthen rural North Dakota by awarding resources to projects led by RLND alumni.

NDSU Agriculture Communication – Dec. 15, 2023

Source: Katie Tyler, 701-231-5640, katherine.tyler@ndsu.edu

Editor: Elizabeth Cronin, 701-231-7881, elizabeth.cronin@ndsu.edu

Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.