(ND Ag Connection) – 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.”