Local leaders participating in Extension program

Stephanie and Andy Maier

MOORHEAD, Minn. — Andy and Stephanie Maier, Barnesville, Minnesota, are Wilkin County’s representatives in the Red River Valley Emerging Leadership Program.

Alumni of the program from Wilkin County, Minnesota, nominated the Maiers to take part in the program because of their involvement in their community.

Andy and Stephanie farm wheat, corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and sunflowers in northern Wilkin and southern Clay counties, Minnesota. They have a fourth generation family farm, established in 1925, and currently operated with Andy’s parents. In addition to co-managing the farming operation, Stephanie works as the part-time office assistant at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Moorhead, Minnesota.

During the program, Andy and Stephanie will gather with other rural leaders from 17 counties in the region over four sessions to gain insight on personal leadership styles, communication, rural issues, life balance, and facilitating effective meetings. Participants will spend time at the state capitol and visit with state legislators about issues affecting their communities.

“My mind has completely switched on what it means to be a leader, from questioning if I am one, to how can I be a better one!” said a recent graduate of the Emerging Leadership Program. “I found strengths I didn’t know I have.”

Another graduate said they found a network of fellow leaders and friends.

“I engaged in worthwhile learning sessions throughout the program. This experience will enable me to be a better leader in my community and help others get involved as well,” they continued.

University of Minnesota Extension coordinates the Emerging Leadership Program and provides educational content. Financial support for the program comes from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, Red River Valley Development Association, and from a variety of other sources including ag producer groups, electric cooperatives, community businesses, financial institutions and individuals in counties throughout northwest and west central Minnesota who contribute each year.

Andy and Stephanie will be honored for their commitment to leadership and their community at the Emerging Leadership Program’s annual recognition banquet on Saturday, March 28 in Crookston, Minnesota. Family and friends are invited to join program alumni at the event. Tickets can be ordered from the Extension regional office in Crookston by calling 218-281-8696, or toll free at 1-888-241-0781.

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