Members of Class X of the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Program (SDARL) began their leadership learning journey by exploring their strengths, meeting the SDARL Board of Directors, and hearing from a newly-elected Congressman. The Leadership Orientation Seminar was held November 9-10, in Mitchell, SD.

The seminar featured self-introductions, meetings with the SDARL staff, and a challenge from SDARL Board Chair Nate Franzen to consider growing intellectually, emotionally, and creatively during the 18-month program.

Class members joined SDARL graduates at an evening banquet that featured Congressman-elect Dusty Johnson, who was elected four days prior to the event. He spoke about the need for leadership in agriculture and his challenges to pass a new Farm Bill in Congress.

On the second day of the seminar, class members explored their leadership strengths in a session led by Leadership Vision Consultants Logan Joyce and Carrie Jones from Minneapolis. The group reviewed an individual strengths inventory assessment and learned how to develop and apply those strengths.

The class meets next in Brookings to build communication and networking skills, while exploring the role of attitude in leadership.

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