Rural Leadership ND graduates 1st round participants

The Rural Leadership North Dakota program has just completed its first full session, with rural community leader participants from all around the state of North Dakota. Scholarship funding for this program was provided for some of the current team members from the Champion-REAP Alliance and the Division of Community Services. Additional funding for the entire program has been secured from a variety of other resources.

Included in this team are several champion community, REAP Zone and Empowerment Zone leaders. The program, developed by the NDSU Extension Service, has been a huge success. The community leaders worked on or have already completed a variety of projects including helping direct housing efforts, building community centers, developing parks and securing funds for playground equipment, helping build swimming pools, wellness centers, and a veterans’ memorial. These very proactive, committed leaders are making a big difference in their local communities, within their county, their region and definitely impacting the state. Some of the leaders have been working within the political arena to address rural needs and issues, and as the educational training continues at the RLND seminars, they are being connected to a vast network of resources that will help them in their quest to become community leaders who are making a positive difference in North Dakota. The team traveled to Washington DC in January to meet with policy makers at the federal level, and the North Dakota congressional delegation. This experience helps them understand the vast network of partnerships and resources that are available to rural communities.

Applications for the 2005-2007 team are now available and due no later than July 1, 2005. For more information on this program and to find out how to become a member of the team, please contact Marie Hvidsten, RLND Program Director, 231-5803 or email her at You can also check out their website at;