North Mankato, Minnesota- Sara Hewitt, Project Coordinator for the Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture was selected to participate in Class VIII of the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership Program (MARL). Hewitt will join 29 others in a dynamic two-year leadership development experience. The mission of MARL is to develop the skills of Minnesota’s agricultural and rural leaders so they may maximize their impact and effectiveness in local, state, national and international arenas.
Hewitt joined the staff at the Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture in March, and has been an integral part of launching the Center’s website, social media and logo. Her most recent projects have been the Under the Tent Event at the MN State FFA Convention and working to design videos for the Farm Business Management program throughout Minnesota.
Hewitt lives in Cleveland, Minnesota and farms conventional row crops with her husband and his family. She and her husband have also recently started in the honey bee business, beginning their hives this spring. The Hewitt family also owns Hewitt Drainage Equipment, an agricultural tiling business selling tile plows, stringer trailers and tile.
“The MARL program is such a wonderful opportunity and the leadership, communication experience, and network I will fully utilize in my career and daily life. I am grateful for the chance to participate in Class VIII, and grow as a leader in my community and career,” said Hewitt.
Successful applicants share two common traits, according to Dan Hoffman, MARL Executive Director. “MARL participants are currently actively involved in leadership roles in their communities and organizations and have the potential for even more success as they take on more leadership roles in the future.”
MARL participants will travel to nine in-state seminar sites, Washington D.C. and an international destination during the next two years. Each session features a mix of leadership study, personal skill building and location-related subject matter such as communication, agriculture and Minnesota’s future, collective leadership, international culture and politics, community leadership, federal policy and our nation’s future, state legislature, natural resources and the environment, conflict management, international trade, agriculture and policy and current events. Resource personnel from the private and public sector and academia deliver the curriculum.
The MARL Program is a private/public partnership. Southwest Minnesota State University administers the program and the University of Minnesota Extension is contracted to deliver the curriculum. The program is funded through participant fees, donations and funding partners. The MARL Board of Directors establishes the budget and oversees the direction of the program, operating as an affiliated board of the Southwest Minnesota State University Foundation, a private 501(c)(3) organization.
For more information on the MARL Program, visit www.MARLprogram.org
The Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture, a public-private partnership, is focused on expanding the footprint of services to producers, agribusinesses and agriculture lenders throughout Southern Minnesota. South Central College serves as the lead institution for the Center, within the MnSCU system. A variety of services focused on program development and research, professional preparation, domestic and international marketing opportunities, and partnership development are offered.