Virtual Leader Development Program Goes Rural

Leaders are the life-blood of small towns and rural communities. The success or failure of community development efforts often rests with the degree of leadership local citizens are willing to provide. You can see our 4-part series on leadership here.

Now our colleagues at The University of Nebraska Omaha have asked us to share a new rural leadership program with you. Several of our Farm and Community team are participating, so you will be in good company! Their description of the program follows.

"If you're interested in developing your skills as a leader in rural Nebraska, the University of Nebraska– Omaha invites you to participate in their new a Virtual Leader Development Program.

"We are working to recruit participants for our leadership development program, particularly those in rural Nebraska who are new or relatively new to leadership experiences in their work.

"Our program focuses on five skills that are associated with leadership, and we are conducting meetings through Google Hangouts for groups of leaders to discuss different case stories related to those skills.

"Participants can begin the program anywhere between now and April, and we expect participants to commit to about six months of time, with about three hours per month for the program. However, we are flexible with groups and may expedite the program by having meetings more frequently if group members desire.

"The sessions are sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Omaha, the Rural Futures Institute, and Nebraska Extension. You can contact Eric at for more information and to register for this research opportunity."

If you decide to participate, please let me know how it goes. Send an email to Kathie Starkweather,

Feature image: Center for Rural Affairs staff paired with volunteers from the community (budding leaders) to start a new community garden in South Sioux City, Nebraska several years ago. This was taken at the ribbon-cutting event.