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MEDIA ADVISORY: Rural ag leaders on U of M St. Paul campus Jan. 28

Contacts: Catherine Dehdashti, University of Minnesota Extension, office 612-625-0237, cell 651-329-2427,; John Byrnes, office 612-625-4743,

WHO/WHAT: The Minnesota Agriculture Rural Leadership (MARL) program is a dynamic leadership development program for active and engaged adult leaders in agricultural communities and organizations.


• Reporters will have an opportunity to interview rural leaders from across Minnesota about their perspectives on the state of agriculture. Discover how, through participation in MARL, these leaders are learning to bring their communities together to deal with today's complex issues.

• In addition, listen to presentations by the following University of Minnesota experts:

o Bev Durgan, Extension Dean
o Brian Buhr, department head, Applied Economics, and Extension economist
o Marla Spivak, Extension entomologist and nationally known bee researcher

WHERE: University of Minnesota Cargill Building, 1500 Gortner Avenue, St. Paul. Maps and directions available at

WHEN: 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28. Presentations begin at 8 a.m. MARL participants and leaders are available for interviews between 10:20 and 11:20 a.m.

About MARL:
MARL is a program of Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) and University of Minnesota Extension for rural agriculture leaders. MARL helps participants improve performance in their current leadership roles and achieve their leadership goals. SMSU administers the program and Extension develops and coordinates the delivery of the curriculum. MARL has an 11-member advisory board that is an ancillary unit of the SMSU Foundation a private, 501 (c)(3) entity. The institutional partners provide generous in-kind support, but the key to MARL's public/private status is private funding. Participants pay a fee which covers approximately 1/3 of the cost of the delivering the program. The majority of the program costs are paid with donations from individuals, businesses and foundations.

For information about Extension, visit

For more information about MARL, visit .

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