The tenth class has been selected for the South Dakota Agricultural & Rural Leadership (SDARL) program. Twenty-eight individuals from across the state will participate in the program that develops the skills, knowledge and character of leaders for rural communities and the state’s most essential industry.

Class X includes 13 members who work hands-on at a ranch or farm. Others members represent the diversity of agri-business, community development, and non-profit organizations that include precision agriculture, ag finance, government and multinational corporations.

Class X members include:

Lora Berg, Brookings; Jace Booth, Timberlake; Jay Esser, Redfield; Tom Fishback, Brookings; Lee Friesen, Olivet; Elli Haerter, Hosmer; Grant Harms, Sioux Falls; Tanse Herrmann, Whitewood; Jennifer Hoesing, Sioux Falls; Justin Ingalls, Watertown; Chris Kassube, Bath; Lance Larsen, Groton; Matt Lindgren, Watertown; Garrett Masat, Tulare; Bob Metz, Peever; Krysti Mikkonen, Frederick; Lorrin Naasz, Pierre; Don Nickelson, Frederick; Heather Niederwerder, New Underwood; Sam Olson, Buffalo; Jake Prins, Eden; Jared Questad, Baltic; ReEtta Sieh, Leola; Scott Simpson, Pierre; Tyler Urban, Sioux Falls; Ryan Vanden Berge, Oacoma; Jackson Waage, Dell Rapids; and Heidi Zwinger, Colton.

“In addition to diversity across the agricultural landscape, this class is geographically diverse,” noted SDARL Executive Director Lori Cope. “Class members are from Buffalo, Sioux Falls, Peever, New Underwood and other cities and towns representing the broad expanse of agriculture and the rural nature of our state.”

The class members will begin their 18-month leadership development program in November 2018. There are 12 seminars in the SDARL leadership series, including one seminar in Washington, D.C., and one international study seminar.

“Class X continues the tradition of excellence that is the hallmark of the SDARL program,” noted Don Norton, SDARL CEO. “When this class graduates in 2020, it will bring our list of graduates to 299. These are influential and impactful leaders in South Dakota agriculture.”

Selection to the program is competitive and requires a formal application and interview. Applications for the next SDARL class will begin in January 2020.

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