From farmers to business owners --- one program is building leaders in small communities.
Rural Leadership North Dakota is strengthening leadership skills and helping young leaders learn more about their state and how they can become an active voice in their communities.
Reporter Sarah Gustin visits with 2 leaders about to graduate from 18 months of training.
(Jay Doan / Cattle Rancher / Agritourism) "This program has definitely taught me if you are going to talk the talk, walk the walk. Become involved in your community. Become a leader. If you are not involved take more action and really step up."
Jay Doan ranches and runs a hunting outfit with his family near Sterling.
Doan says the Rural Leadership North Dakota gives participants the skills to develop every part of North Dakota.
(Jay Doan / Cattle Rancher / Agritourism) "It's just being a leader in North Dakota. Anyone who is interested in being a leader or standing up for what they believe in or think is right and just becoming involved in every aspect of North Dakota. Developing the urban areas is just as important as developing the rural areas. "
Not all training happens in-state.
Minneapolis, Washington D.C. and a trip to another country are just a few stops along the way.
(Jay Doan / Cattle Rancher & Agritourism) "Our international trip to Brazil gave us a bigger view, worldwide scope, of how agriculture works."
Andrew Holle is a fourth generation dairy farmer.
He says the skills he gained not only helped him lead in his community, but also on the farm.
(Andrew Holle / Dairy Farmer) "Grow the community, but also your business."
After a year and half -- you make some pretty good friends who share some common goals.
(Andrew Holle / Dairy Farmer) "A lot of people in our group are key leaders in the state. We all clicked really well. I am sure we made some life long friends there, which can help you down the road. As for the program, I learned that basically, all people are the same. We all have our basic wants and desires. Through the program it teaches us how to tailor our leadership skills to each person."
If you would like to sign up for the 18 month program the deadline to apply is June 15th.
Call 701-231-5803 for more information.