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Bertha couple chosen as Agassiz Ambassadors

Photo by Rivers Edge Photography/Fertile, Minn. Carla and Matt Blashack of Bertha were chosen as 2012 Agassiz Ambassadors.

Matt and Carla Blashack of Bertha were recently named Agassiz Ambassadors for the Red River Valley Emerging Leadership Program at their Awards Banquet held at UMC, March 31. They will carry the title of Agassiz Ambassadors No. 52 for the coming year and put to work their leadership skills in public relations, recognition, and community leadership. They will also work with program coordinators to develop and deliver the educational program.

Matt and Carla were selected for this honor from among participants from fifteen counties who took part in the most recent program. The selection was based on nominations from other program participants and interviews with program alumni. David and Christina were noted as good role models for this program. Comments made by nominators and interviewers noted that the couple complement each other's strengths. It was also noted that they both wear many "hats" in their community and work together to bring their best effort to the task at hand.

What do Matt and Carla have to say about being selected for this role? They shared their thoughts saying, "We are honored to be chosen from such a solid group of community leaders from across the region." The Emerging Leadership program will benefit from Matt and Carla's continued involvement with the program over the coming months.

Matt is a partner in a dairy operation with his parents, where together they milk 50 Jersey cows. Matt runs 300-400 acres of small grains, corn and hay. He also works construction building pole buildings, residential, new construction and remodeling. Carla is the Lead Supervisor of the Medical Records Department at the Wadena Medical Center. They have four children and together they are members of St. Joseph's Catholic church, the East Otter Tail 4-H Dairy Recognition Show Committee and the Minn. State Jersey Cattle Club. Each of them, individually, are members of several other organizations and committees in their community.

The couple looks forward to continuing their involvement with the Emerging Leadership Program in the coming year. This program is a partnership program of the University of Minnesota Extension and the Northwest Minnesota Foundation. It is financially supported by alumni of the program and by the many community businesses throughout the region. Major sponsors include the Red River Development Association and the West Central Initiative.

This program carries on the tradition, started by the RRV Winter Shows in 1961, of recognizing rural leaders for contributions to their communities. The recognition, at a regional level once known as Valley King Agassiz, was replaced with the title of Agassiz Ambassadors in 1994.