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Extension Logo
University of Minnesota Extension

Growing community leaders

Investing in Minnesota's community leaders

"You don't have to save the whole world. Just save your hometown. It'll add up."

—Vice-President Hubert Humphrey

Extension seeks community partners who are ready to invest in local leadership. We design programs with our partners, and help them grow leaders who are ready to work on issues at the county, regional, state and even national level. Get to know our programs here, and contact us to talk about your community.

Why invest in leadership education?

Studies show a connection between successful communities and strong leadership. Successful communities are good at:

  • Building and transitioning leadership over time.
  • Filling community leadership roles with women, young people, and new residents.
  • Providing opportunities for new, emerging, mid-career and retiring leaders to lead and contribute.
  • Using local resources and people to create a better community.
  • Focusing on leadership for neighborhood groups, public issues and the whole community.

Program impact

Extension studies the effectiveness of its leadership education programs every year.

Review program outcomes

66.5% of participants increased their involvement in at least one leadership role based on post-program assessments

Ways to get started


Use our assessment to think about your community's leadership and priorities.

Assess your community's leadership

Find a program

Extension is working across Minnesota to deliver leadership education.

Learn about available programs

Consult with an educator

Bring leadership education to your community or group.

Find an Extension educator in your area

Our approach to leadership

In leadership programs, participants connect with others and practice leadership skills.

For help developing your community's leadership strategy, contact an educator in your region.


Leadership skills

Explore an instructional case study on the impact of charismatic leaders. Start here



Over 3,000 Minnesotans have graduated from Extension leadership programs. We stay in touch, providing continued education and support. Visit our alumni page

Two for You

Watch our two-minute series sharing positive psychology research to help you live and lead with intention. See more videos

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