It’s amazing how far a person comes in their life. This weekend I’ll be celebrating my “graduation” from the Rural Leadership North Dakota program. “Graduation” seems so final, but I feel like this weekend is anything but final. I have had the privilege to get to know 30 people with whom I’ll have a lifelong connection. I’ve made some amazing friends while sharing some moments that can’t be recreated.
I’ve traveled across North Dakota learning about businesses that I didn’t even know existed. I’ve eaten North Dakota-grown food while being accompanied by some great North Dakotans. I’m humbled and question how I managed to sneak into such a high profile class.
We traveled to Minneapolis-Saint Paul and saw the effects of our state on the regional economy and then saw the national view when we traveled to Washington DC. During our awe-inspiring and jaw-dropping trip to Thailand and Vietnam, we were able to see first-hand the differences in agriculture practices, cultural differences and yet discover what we have in common with people who live on the other side of the globe.
Of all of the experiences I have had the opportunities to have, from standing on top of an oil rig, to handling just-shorn wool, to sipping on newly brewed beer, I have to say that what I will cherish the most from this class: the friends I’ve made.
If you ever have the opportunity to learn, stretch and challenge yourself, do it. You never know how many new best friends you’ll end up meeting.