The History of the Emerging Leadership Program
In 1985 a small group of individuals in the Red River Valley of Minnesota gathered to discuss ways in which they might empower people in the region to move beyond the current agriculture crisis/recession and build a stronger agricultural community. Those individuals created the Red River Valley Emerging Leadership Program (ELP) to add value and compliment an existing recognition program for rural agricultural leaders in several counties in northwest Minnesota. That program has continued each year since then to provide a series of leadership sessions focused on agriculture, natural resources and rural issues for young leaders (ages 30-45) in the region.
Participants from 19 counties in northwest and west central Minnesota are now reached by the program which strives to empower people to make a difference - in agriculture, in education, in communities. Participants say,
"...it is a great vehicle for building networks with other leaders in the region and an educating tool to recharge people on leadership, the importance of community, and giving back to the community in a time when strong leadership is needed in rural areas more than ever."