New SDARL Class Announced

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South Dakota Agricultural & Rural Leadership Class IX Announced

Lori Cope, Executive Director of the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership announces new class to participate in the next SDARL program beginning November 2016. Selected into Class IX SDARL:

Brian Bannwarth, Mitchell                                       Derek Little, Brookings
Shelby Bartling, Gregory                                         Chad Nelsen, Viborg
Ryan Beer, Lemmon                                                Bart Randall, Chamberlain
Peggy Bieber, Leola                                                Tiffani Robertson, Hermosa
Scott Biskeborn, Chamberlain                                 Lee Sanderson, Conde
Lacey Caffee, Wessington Springs                         Kyle Schell, Wall
Rebecca Christman, Sioux Falls                             Adam Schindler, Reliance
Billy Clanton, Buffalo                                               Bo Slovek, Philip
Matt Dybedahl, Pierre                                              Ben Stout, Kadoka
Adam Ehlers, Presho                                               Brian Ternus, Valley Springs
Brian Gilbert, Sioux Falls                                         Rob Thuringer, Madison
Danielle Hanson, Pierre                                          Jason Warrington, Groton
Jennifer Henrie, Philip
Sarah Hill, Brookings
Kara Kayser, Emery
Jonathan Kleinjan, Brookings

The SDARL leadership program is designed and will provide leadership training to these twenty eight rural South Dakota residents representing farming, ranching, agri-industry and agricultural organizations. The goal is to grow and enhance participants’ vision, knowledge, confidence and commitment necessary to engage and assume leadership roles in South Dakota’s rural communities and agricultural industry. “Cope says SDARL is a comprehensive eighteen month program combining leadership development with hands on field experience. Training emphasizes understanding of political, social, economic and cultural issues as well as basic skills in communications, interpersonal relations, decision making and problem-solving. Participants gain firsthand knowledge of trends, key issues and Agriculture innovations and developments in South Dakota.” A SDARL experience prepares them for civic and community engagement to serve on boards, volunteer in community and Ag industry organizations, and increases analytical and strategic planning skills for assessing an ever-changing environment. Seminars are designed to allow opportunity to directly interact with private business leaders, government leaders, state and federal agency personnel, and build relations with SDARL alumni. Starting November 2016 through April 2018, the program includes ten in-state seminars, one national study seminar to Washington, DC and a two-week international study seminar. All centered on local, regional, national and international agriculture. SDARL started in Year 2000 and its alumni organization now exceeds 245 graduates.

The SDARL program is a Private/Public partnership funded through tuition and sponsorships. For additional information about South Dakota Agriculture and Rural Leadership go to  To make a gift to the South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership Legacy Fund, click here, or contact the South Dakota Community Foundation.