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Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions.

MARL begins 21st year with Minnesota's rural and ag leaders

August 17, 2020

This year is the 20th anniversary of the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership Program (MARL), one of many leadership education cohorts offered by Extension. It's been offered since 2000 through a partnership between University of Minnesota Extension, Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) and the SMSU Foundation.

Each class participates for two years. The 10th class, Class X finds itself with a postponed graduation due to COVID-19. Nevertheless, they completed their final leadership seminar and exit interviews online. "Congratulations Class X on the completion of our rigorous leadership journey!" wrote Olga Reuvekamp in her June 30 MARL newsletter column. She announced that the graduation and anniversary celebration has been postponed until Jan. 21 in St. Cloud, in conjunction with a seminar of the incoming class, Class XI.

Toby Spanier and Christy Kallevig, Extension Leadership and Civic Engagement educators, are program co-leaders. "This pandemic has changed the way most of us have experienced everyday activities," wrote Spanier.  "We need to continue to innovate and look for ways to meet the leadership needs of our agricultural and rural communities."

Extension is excited to join Reuvekamp in welcoming MARL's Class XI. The first seminar will be held in St. Cloud Nov. 23-24, focused on advancing leadership skills and broadening knowledge of agriculture and rural topics in Minnesota, the nation and the world.

Please welcome and congratulate the following Class XI candidates:

  • Haley Ammann-Ekstrom, Welcome
  • Dylan Barth, Lakeville
  • Quyntin Brandt, Shakopee
  • Nada Carter, Starbuck
  • Joel Dorn, St. Peter
  • Erik Evans, Fridley
  • Shannon Gegner, Redwood Falls
  • Elizabeth Golombiecki, Morris
  • Holly Hatlewick, Granite Falls
  • Cheryal Hills, Brainerd
  • Chelsea Honnette, Jackson
  • Katie Knapp, Minneapolis
  • Austin Ludowese, Stewart
  • Steven Marsh, Gonvick
  • Sarah McCall, Fairmont
  • Jessica Miller, Mankato
  • Deborah Mills, Lake City
  • Kim Neumann, Wabasso
  • Robert Orsten, Willmar
  • Jesse Pabst, Pennock
  • Kaelyn Platz, Pemberton
  • Brad Schloesser, St. Peter
  • Amy Smith, Rockford
  • Jana Stangler, Utica
  • Brittany Ullrich, Detroit Lakes
  • Dan Vagle, Lancaster
  • Charlie Vogel, Thief River Falls
  • Roy Wookey, New London
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