We started our morning of the last day in Rochester reflecting on the leadership traits of the folks we had the opportunity to interact with the day before. We were very impressed with the passion they displayed and their futuristic views for agriculture.
We then spent time reflecting on aspects of our personalities we have identified through various evaluations we have taken through our MARL experience and started to develop strategies to ensure a successful and low stress 12 day adventure together to Vietnam.
Our guest speaker was the Dean of Extension of the University of Minnesota: Dr. Bev Durgan. She has been at this position for ten years. She discussed the challenging times for agriculture including urban vs rural, water quality, and workforce issues. The issues around honeybees and monarchs continues and we were encouraged to hear that the U of M has one of few remaining bee research labs in country to further research. Dean Durgan also outlined leadership initiatives in Minnesota, including MARL. She explained how Extension is working to keep young leaders active and willing to live in a rural community.
Our last speaker was Diane Tran who shared insights on Vietnam with us. Her parents grew up in Vietnam and escaped during the fall of Saigon (now called Ho Chi Minh City) around 1980. She shared stories of the trip she took back to the country in 2011 with her parents and how emotional the trip had been. We then had our round circle reflections and wrapped up another successful MARL seminar.