We started day three at the Redwood Area Community Center where, after conversations on Leadership Action Plans and Capstone Projects and International travel prep, we met Andy Ourada, Redwood Valley Activities & Community Education Director and Ross Nachreiner of the City of Redwood.  We toured both the activity center and The Orrin S. Estebo Career Development and Training Center.  This space includes a grow room, medical training classroom, business/career center, and facilities for welding, construction, computer drawing, and robotics.  Students can earn certifications and learn more about various career pathways.  What an impressive visit.  A great presentation by the students was given about the plants they have and also their brand-new chickens and coop!

Overall, Class XI had a fantastic experience in Redwood Falls and learning more about the Lower Sioux Community.   A special thanks to our sponsors for making this visit a success!

Submitted by Chelsea Honnette and Seminar Management Team “Black”.

The class started the day with programming focused on inclusive leadership led by Extension Educator Toby Spanier.  We enjoyed playing a card game where each table had different rules and we were unable to communicate with one another to reinforce the challenges that occur when we do not allow for differences in mindset, assumptions, and beliefs while working together.  Did I mention we couldn’t communicate???

We then had the opportunity to travel to the Lower Sioux Historic site where John Robertson provided the group on the history of the Lower Sioux.  This served as an excellent foundation for our day in the Lower Sioux community.

The next stop for the group was a tour with Darin Prescott, Health & Clinic CEO of Lower Sioux Health Care Center.  What a fantastic facility that the group was able to view and learn more about the work of the Health Care Center and services provided to the Lower Sioux Community.

The afternoon was spent learning about the Lower Sioux Early Head Start and Head Start and the Lower Sioux Intergenerational Cultural Incubator.  At the Lower Sioux Early Head Start and Head Start we were able to learn about the important services provided to the community and how they plan to continue to grow to support additional families in the community.   We quickly made our way to the Lower Sioux Intergenerational Cultural Incubator where we heard from Grace Goldtooth, Arts Coordinator and Taylor Maguire, Administration Coordinator about this beautiful new facility that will continue to support the community by providing meals to Elders, teaching cooking to the youth, and providing space for entrepreneurs to develop and grow their ideas.  Remember Ruby?  We were able to see Ruby in action using her long arm sewing machine while quilting a beautiful piece in one of the rooms provided in the center.   We could have spent a lot of time learning about her quilts and the process, but we were onto the next adventure.  If you have a chance to visit this space, we encourage you to do so.  It is a beautiful space where many great things will start.

A diverse panel discussion was provided for the class to ask any questions about the Lower Sioux.  As anyone can imagine, we were able learn so much about the Lower Sioux Indian community.

We then transitioned back for dinner and a program where John Robertson shared some of his personal story with the group.  It was a great time to have many conversations with classmates, alumni and spouses about important topics in our world.

Submitted by Chelsea Honnette

Day One started for Class XI by loading a chartered bus for a tour around Redwood Falls, MN.  The class was provided a wonderful tour guide of the area by Bruce Tiffany (Class V).  The class started out by driving  tour around town taking in a variety of community assets including the hospital, schools Redwood, Redwood Valley Community Schools, library, and swimming pool.

The class had an opportunity to meet with leaders from Daktronics where Tom Quackenbusch, Plant Manager, shared with the class their motto they lead from which is humble, honest, helpful.  We were able to tour the facility and learned in detail more about how they as an industry leader are creating a variety of shifts to accommodate the workforce.

After the class loaded the bus, we traveled to Farmers Union Industries where the class received an in-depth report on all of their businesses which provided needed services to farmers and consumers related to animal food manufacturing.  Dale Bednarek, Chief Operating Officer, and Bonnie Ashlbrecht, Director of Human Resources, discussed with the class how their workforce is some of the most dedicated and loyal employees, and shared with the class their strategies for development of the next leaders of the organization is in planning stages.  The class enjoyed having the experience to see the final products that are manufactured and how they support our world in various industries.

Back to bus the class went and had the opportunity to learn from Jackie Edwards who spent several years in the Redwood Falls community working on projects to improve the community.  She shared with the class how collaboration with various leaders has been a major impact on moving projects through the community.  Jackie provided the class with a detailed tour of Ramsey/Chanshayapi Park.  We learned that our very own Shannon Gegner has a special connection to the park in that her family provides the goats in the zoo!  Overall, the conversation around all the history and beauty of the park was enjoyed by all.

The class ended their day by enjoying a meal and performance by the Dakota Wicohan Dancers.  We also were introduced to a special lady named Ruby who was there also to watch the performance.  More about Ruby on day 2. 😊

Submitted by Chelsea Honnette