RLND Class X near Painted Canyon

Unlocking Insights: RLND Class X Seminar 3 Highlights - Rural Resources and Issues in Killdeer

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Class X Seminar 3: Rural Resources and Issues, Killdeer Highlights

Written by the Seminar Management Team: Christie Jaeger, Emma Cook, and Denise Andress

Day 1
Rural Leadership North Dakota (RLND) Class X convened in Killdeer from February 14-16, 2024 for their Rural Resources and Issues Seminar.  All attendees arrived Tuesday night due to the long distance travel to reach western North Dakota! The Seminar began at the Killdeer Area Ambulance Service in their meeting space. After reflecting on Seminar 2, the class discussed and confirmed our class ground rules followed by Katie’s challenge to all of us for Random Acts of Kindness week. We covered Community Capitals with Andrea Bowman, NDSU Extension Program Coordinator for Leadership and Civic Engagement. In this engaging session, we learned how the systems thinking model of Community Capitals resources create healthy communities. We shared ideas of what constitutes each capital and how challenging some of these can be for rural communities and leaders.
Class X enjoyed a delicious authentic Mexican lunch from Garcia Tacos as we listened to our guest speaker, Teresa Dvorak, who alongside her family operate Hills Valley Ranch, an Angus cow-calf ranch and a backgrounding and heifer development feedlot. Teresa gave the class insight into the complexities involved in producing and transporting agricultural products to consumers as she shared her family’s ownership of 6 in 1 Meats and Dunn Burgers. By providing beef to consumers directly, both by individual purchase and to local schools and nursing homes, Teresa’s leadership and commitment to her community and agriculture was clearly evident.
We continued to work with our leader, Katie Tyler, on the Leadership Challenge throughout the seminar. Our time at Killdeer Area Ambulance could not be complete without a presentation and tour from Dustin Lien, the Deputy Chief of EMS. Dustin is an accomplished leader who shared the history of EMS in general and specifically the Killdeer Area Ambulance as their call volume kept increasing throughout the oil boom in the area. He shared the challenges they have in their vast service area and terrain.  Dustin gave all of us insight into the complex factors that shape rural communities in the region.
RLND Class X near Killdeer
Class X then carpooled 15 miles north and west of Killdeer, complete with amazing scenery of the Killdeer Mountains and Oil wells and drilling rigs, to the Bang’s Commercial Cow-Calf Operation Tour by Terrald Bang. We were able to experience firsthand the natural resources relationship to communities and ND agriculture in action as we followed Terrald through his pens, learning about his cows and the oil well being drilled across the road from them! Terrald’s dedication to his cattle and the land was clear and he also shared the succession story of his ranch to his son and his family and the legacy he has created.
The day concluded at the American Legion in Killdeer graciously hosted by Greg Benz of the Killdeer American Legion. Besides the delicious catered dinner of Chicken Bacon Lasagna, the evening’s highlight was the announcement of the location of RLND CLASS X’s INTERNATIONAL STUDY SEMINAR! Our class was challenged by Katie Tyler and Cory McCaskey, RLND Council Chair and RLND class V alumni, to a game of Clue to match a flag, currency and food of our trip. Class X was thrilled to learn they will be traveling to Ghana in Western Africa in February 2025!!!!! The evening concluded with some facts and history of Ghana and what to expect on the international seminar.
Day 2
Thursday morning, Class X began with a discussion on leadership projects and how they projects will impact community capitals. Many also enjoyed coffee and breakfast from Old Crow Corner, in Killdeer.
Class X then traveled to OneOk’s Bear Creek Plant where the class heard from Cameron Kostelecky, Plant Manager, on the history of OneOk and its current operations. Cameron spoke on OneOk’s company values and the important role they play in the company’s daily operations and in fostering leadership and growth at all levels. The class was able to engage in valuable discussion on OneOk’s operations in North Dakota and the important role they play in the energy industry across the country. The class was also able to experience the industry’s relationship and commitment to rural communities in North Dakota and the ND Agricultural industry.
For lunch, Class X traveled to JD’s BBQ in Dickinson where class members had an opportunity to give a quick overview of their leadership projects to their classmates. The class then welcomed Deb Nelson, owner of DLN Consulting who gave an informative presentation on the organization Vision West. The class learned about how Vision West Consortium was created to address the unique challenges and opportunities that exist in Western North Dakota and how important it is to have representation from community and industry to move these initiatives forward.
A Western ND seminar wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the badlands, so after lunch Class X loaded the bus and headed to Painted Canyon to take in the beautiful view of the terrain.
RLND Class X visiting with XTO Energy
On the way back to Killdeer, Class X stopped at an XTO Energy well pad to hear from their team on their current operations and the important role that XTO plays in the energy industry in North Dakota. It was clear to Class X that XTO has a dedicated commitment to the communities they operate in. XTO also emphasized the importance of their company values and fostering leadership at all levels of the organization.
Class X wrapped up the day with a leadership dinner at the Buckskin Grill in Killdeer. Class members had the opportunity to network with local leaders and previous RLND alumni. After a delicious dinner, the class heard from former ND Senate majority leader Rich Wardner on the importance of leadership development in North Dakota. Rich’s passion and dedication to the state was evident in his remarks and served as a message of inspiration as Class X continues their leadership journey.
RLND Class X with ND Game and Fish
Day 3
RLND Class X with ND Game and Fish
Friday morning, Class X met at the Killdeer Aquatics and Wellness Center and were treated to a delicious breakfast treat of caramel rolls and coffee! Our guest speakers were from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Scott Peterson, ND Game and Fish Deputy Director and RLND Council Member, presented general information about the Department and how they operate. Levi Jacobson, ND Game and Fish Wildlife Resource Management Supervisor and RLND Class VII alumni, discussed Wildlife Management Areas and other programs that ND Game and Fish offer to landowners. Kent Luttschwager, ND Game and Fish Wildlife Resource Management Section Leader located in Williston, shared the challenges that their department has had with the oil boom and managing habitat for wildlife. All three speakers’ leadership and dedication to conservation and the trust they work to build with constituents, was apparent and appreciated.
In closing, we discussed our highs and lows of Seminar 3, our future seminars to Washington DC and Minneapolis, and reflected on how all the community leaders we have met over the first three seminars fit into the leadership challenge.
We owe much appreciation to our Seminar 3 Sponsors: XTO Energy, an ExxonMobil subsidary, OneOk, Jacam Catalyst, and Anthony and Jodi Larson (RLND Class V and Class VII alumni). The success of RLND seminars would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors.