Graduate Testimonials

“I’ve been through a lot of leadership courses, including the graduate school of banking, and the SDARL program, it’s a very in-depth dive, a very in-depth look at agriculture in our state, and gives you a much broader perspective both nationally and internationally.”

Brian Gilbert
Senior Vice President, Ag Banking Manager, The First National Bank in Sioux Falls

“The biggest benefit of the SDARL program for me has been the networking opportunities. I’ve had the opportunity to broaden my horizons across the agricultural world inside and outside of South Dakota.”

Kara Kayser
Marketing Director, Trail King


January 2020

Leadership Lived: SDARL Alumni Discuss Leadership Learning

Many graduates say that the biggest benefit of the program is belonging to the network of their classmates and graduates of the SDARL program. Some say they enjoyed learning of the broad scope of South Dakota agriculture. Some realized their potential as a communicator, and others grew in their knowledge of agriculture’s global footprint. Every graduate has said it is time well spent.

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Graduate Related News Blog Items

March 26, 2020

SDARL Graduate Travels to Holy Land

The career of Brad Sanderson (SDARL III) has taken many twists and turns – from vocational education program director to banker, and now to the …

December 31, 2019

West River Ag Awards Presented to SDARL Graduates

The Rapid City Chamber of Commerce annually recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to agriculture in western South Dakota.  At a ceremony on December …

October 24, 2019

SDARL Graduate Has Largest Native American-Owned Buffalo Herd

Ron Brownotter (SDARL VI graduate) and his family are featured in an article from Forum News Service and seen in the Duluth News Tribune. It’s …

October 2, 2019

SDARL Graduates in the News

The Agriculture Committee of the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce and SDSU Extension hosted the first-ever “Ag on the Square” event on September 21st.  The …

Kelly Brandlee

Riverview Dairy, LLP

Travis Bunde

Senior Engineer Raven Industries

Silvia Christen

Lynn Deibert

Deibert Farm

Ty Eschenbaum

Partner A1 Development Solutions, Wienk Charolais

Mike Frey

FreyView Dairy Farm, Inc.

B. Lynn Gordon

Owner/CEO LEADER Consulting

Cayla Graves

FFA Advisor Platte-Geddes School District

J.P. Heber

Alan Hojer

Legacy Consultant First Dakota National Bank, Hojer Gelbvieh

Nathan Jensen

Hidden View Farms, LLC

Travis Johnson

Triple J Cattle Co.

Monica Mandernach


Kevin Moe

Director, Commercial and Agribusiness Banking First National Bank, Yankton

Dawn Nagel

County Executive Director and producer USDA, Nagel Bros

Todd Pennings

Director of Operations Kansas Dairy Ingredients

Randall Questad

Sales Rep, Pastor Pioneer and Farmer, Baltic Lutheran, East Nidaros Church, Questad Farm and Seed

Kari Sanders

Self employed - rancher USDA - Farm Service Agency

Joe Schefers

Regional agronomy lead Bayer/Monsanto - Brookings

Kristy Smith

USDA - Farm Service Agency, Smith Farms

Ted Smith

Sioux Valley Engergy

Stacey Sorlien

South Dakota Pork Producers

Jeff Thompson

Self employed - farmer/cabinet maker

Mike Traxinger

Corporate Attorney Agtegra Cooperative

Ross Tschetter

Tschetter Farms Partnership

Tracey Walsh

Ag teacher & FFA advisor Kimball School District

Rebecca Wellenstein

Cutler Law Firm

Erin Yost

Agribusiness loan officer First Dakota National Bank

Kurt Zuehlke

Owner, partner Zuehlke Feedlot, Z-Co Farms

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