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The Rural Leadership North Dakota (RLND) program is an outstanding experience for experienced leaders and emerging leaders alike. From learning to communicate, to learning about industry, the high-quality curriculum applies to a wide range of leaders.

If you’re an established leader or someone just getting started, we will work with you to finesse your skills while establishing a dedicated and talented network of  leaders across our great state.

The four goals of RLND are:

  1. To create a network of people across the state and beyond that RLND participants will utilize for a lifetime
  2. To strengthen participants’ leadership skills including emotional intelligence, conflict management and effective communication
  3. To improve the quality of life for the participants, organizations and communities
  4. To prepare the participant to work with and implement a project in an organization or community

Inside-Out Approach

Three concentric circles with "ME" in the smallest circle,  "US" in the middle circle, and "ALL" in the outermost, largest circle.

Using the inside-out approach, participants start by working on their relationship with themselves, move to improving their relationships with others and end by focusing on their relationships in the community to increase the success of their community programs.



North Dakota needs three essential components to be a vibrant, prosperous place to live and work:

  • Diverse, resilient economy
  • Effective, efficient infrastructure
  • Leadership

Rural Leadership North Dakota is helping the state grow willing, effective and innovative leaders with the right skills to overcome challenges and guide North Dakota into the future. Participants learn how to think critically and creatively, work with people, communicate effectively, shape rural policy and innovative ways to fund local and regional development.

They use the skills they learn to create and implement a project that benefits their organization, community or region. RLND’s goal is to create a network of contacts and resources that program graduates can tap into for ideas, answers and support.

RLND was born in 2002 after NDSU administrators heard North Dakotans’ growing concern about whether the state would continue to have a strong pool of leaders. The NDSU Extension Service developed RLND, the State Board of Agricultural Research and Education endorsed it and former NDSU President Joseph Chapman provided some funding to get it started. The first class of 25 participants began in fall 2003.

Contact Info

Dept. 7390, PO Box 6050
307 Morrill Hall
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Phone: 701-231-5640


Christy Stenseth-Hedstrom
Assistant to the Directors

Katie Tyler, Ph. D.
Extension Specialist and Program Director
Rural Leadership North Dakota
Cell phone: 701-361-0869