MARL Class VIII Moves Closer to Graduation

January 26, 2016 / Categories: Uncategorized

Pair of MSGA directors among latest class

The Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership (MARL) program gives participants a much needed jolt when it comes to developing tomorrow’s leaders.

The 18-month course pushes participants outside of their comfort zones. MARL participants learn about themselves, how to work more effectively with others and provides an inside look at the opportunities within Minnesota agriculture and rural America.

During the program, participants have the opportunity to travel all over Minnesota. The current class, MARL Class VIII, traveled to Willmar, Marshall, St. Paul, Itasca, Duluth, Rochester, Windom and more. At each of these three-day sessions, class members are involved in leadership exercises while learning more about Minnesota agriculture.

The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) invests soybean checkoff along with other groups into MARL, something current MARL participant Chris Hill said is important.

“I have always been a proud Minnesota soybean producer but am privileged to be part of an organization that supports what I do and encourages me to try new things, like the MARL program,” said, Chris Hill, who represents Jackson County on the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) board.  “The Council selected two Minnesota soybean growers to help finance their way through the program. I am happy to be going through this program to come out as a strong leader and continue to impact agriculture in Minnesota.”

Last week, the most recent class had one of their final leadership sessions in Windom, also visiting the Worthington/Brewster area. The session focused on perception and the personal lens we all see through. In addition, the class toured multiple facilities including Red Rock Rural Water, MN Soybean Processors, New Horizon Fertilizer plant and JBS. At each facility the class meets with employees in leadership positions, gains greater knowledge of what makes their company go round and how the employees work with other people.

At the end of the 18-month course, all the participants have the opportunity to travel to another country. MARL Class VIII was selected to travel to Vietnam on a 10-day trip. Preparation for this trip included presentations from multiple people who either grew up or lived in Vietnam.

Some of the places the class will be visiting in Vietnam includes hog farms, a pineapple farm, a rice farm, the American embassy, as well as many other stops.

“I am really looking forward to this trip,” said MSGA Director Corey Hanson, MSGA State Director for Norman County and current MARL Class VIII participant. “Traveling to another country that is so different from the U.S. yet impacts what we do each and every day will be very interesting to say the least. I also look forward to coming back and being able to share my experience.”

After the International trip in February the class will meet one more time for graduation at the beginning of April. This spring MARL alumni and board members will be searching for participants for MARL Class IX, which will begin in November 2016. The deadline to apply is May 1. For more information about MARL or to apply click here.


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