Mitchell Hosts First Rural Economic and Leadership Development Session

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South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) hosted the first of three Rural Economic and Leadership (REAL) sessions at Cabela’s in Mitchell, September 27 and 28. The sessions host 21 participants from around the state to experience hands-on learning in areas of personal development and motivation, board development, leadership training and other life skills.

Former North Dakota Farmers Union Education Director Tammy Krings, who owns the consulting firm 'The Conversations That Matter,' conducted the first programs Building Interpersonal Effectiveness and Public Speaking 101.

“All too often we put off crucial conversations we need to have with our boss, our spouse or a loved one, because we have different personality styles” said Krings, “And it is by developing the courage to have those conversations, that we really become free to pursue our journey of what’s next.”

“It’s extremely important that we continue to seek out and develop our rural leaders,” said SDFU Rural Development Director Erin Wilcox. “The REAL program not only helps identify the future leadership in our state, but also trains them in the diverse skills needed to lead in the modern day. It really is an excellent opportunity to get connected and jump start your development.”

Gerri Ann Eide of Gettysburg, former school teacher and executive director for two state-wide youth organizations lead programs on day two, including Story Telling as Speaking, Comparing Styles and Decision Making and Working in Group Settings.

“It’s very important for people to understand the dynamics of working in groups in order to be effective,” said Eide. “In our striving to avoid offending anyone, losing money or wasting time, we shut ourselves off from our full potential and from becoming the best person or organization we can be.”

SDFU strongly believes in the talent and potential of rural South Dakotans. Through our Rural Development Programs, we support and create partnerships and collaborations between various entities and individuals to help improve the lives of all. Our REAL Development Program series offers comprehensive training that helps individuals develop leadership skills and make a difference in your community.

The next REAL session is in Pierre, January 2014. For more information about REAL, please contact Erin Wilcox at
605.352.6761 or ewilcox@sdfu.org.


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