How can I be part of the SDARL program?
If you are committed to South Dakota agriculture and to rural communities and their relationship to local, national and international issues, you can apply for our two-year program during the first quarter of every even-numbered year. The class will be made up of, but not restricted to, men and women predominately between 25 and 55 years of age.
The application process is now closed for Class VII. Class IX will be chosen in the spring of 2016.
Who is eligible?
1. Each applicant must be a resident of the State of South Dakota (or receive board approval).
2. It is required that candidates have a current record of demonstrated leadership capability.
3. Our goal is to have two-thirds of the 30-class leader candidates be actively involved as full-time operators of production agricultural units, with the remainder from the agribusiness sector, related organizations, support industries, or are currently serving as leaders in rural communities.
What are the requirements for participation?
1. Participants are expected to participate in all of the two-year program and must demonstrate a high level of interest to remain a viable class member.
2. Self-employed participants must offer evidence that time away for study tours and seminars will not adversely affect their business or operation. Those who are not self-employed must have the approval of their employers.
Each class is approximately 30 persons and is selected in the spring of even numbered years with the first seminar scheduled for November of that year. Class VIII members will interview in April 2014 with class selection being announced by May, 2014. The first seminar will be held in Chamberlain on November, 2014. Class VIII will graduate April 2016.
What are the costs?
The South Dakota Agriculture and Rural Leadership, Inc. board of directors estimates the total cost of the program to be more than $16,000 per participant for the two-year experience. Tuition for Class VIII is $4,200 (plus tax) for the two-year experience, payable in four installments. The fee is applied toward the total cost of the experience.Participants are responsible for travel costs to and from seminars and some incidentals. The first fee is not due until after acceptance to the class.
This cost is shared by participants and private donors. Member’s tuition represents only a small fraction of the actual cost incurred by the program on behalf of each participant. The $16,000 figure includes group travel while at seminars, room and board during seminars, and nearly all study seminar costs, including the week-long seminar in Washington, D.C. and an International study travel seminar lasting 10-14 days.
Participants must also consider the costs related to being away from home and business for the duration of the program seminars, travel expenses to and from seminars, and departure sites and minimal expenses incurred during free time.
The SDARL Program is available without discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or handicap.