Three new board members were seated at the annual meeting of the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Foundation (SDARL) on January 28, 2019.

The new board members are Michelle Rook, Yankton, SD; Dave Bushong, Sioux Falls, SD; and Matt Dybedahl, Pierre, SD. They replace three board members whose terms expired.

Michelle Rook is one of the top farm broadcasters and market reporters in the country.  She leads a farm department at WNAX that consistently has the highest farm audience ratings in the nation. She also hosts AgWeek TV, and is a regional reporter for nationally syndicated ag TV shows AgDay and U.S. Farm Report. She has been recognized for her journalistic excellence, named the Doan Award Recipient in 2015 and the Farm Broadcaster of the Year in 2008 by the National Association of Farm Broadcasters.

Dave Bushong is Senior Vice President of Research at POET, one of the world’s largest producers of ethanol and other biorefined products. He began as Vice President and General Manager of the POET Research Center, and currently oversees the company’s vibrant research and commercial development activities.  These projects include efforts to commercialize cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residue, improve processes and efficiencies at the company’s 27 grain ethanol plants, and develop and improve POET’s wide range of high value biorefined co-products.  He has had more than 35 years of industrial experience in a variety of roles in companies such as Fuji Photo Film, and Dow Chemical.

Matt Dybedahl is a Seed District Sales Manager for WinField United, working with growers and retailers in central and western South Dakota to optimize their acres. Growing up, he was actively involved in 4-H and FFA, and now likes to give back to those organizations by serving as the Ag Sales Career Development Event Chair and also helping with other local events.  He currently is a member of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association and South Dakota Ag Business Association.  He is an alumni of SDARL Class IX and represents his class as President.

“We’re extremely pleased to welcome Michelle, Dave, and Matt to the board,” said Nate Franzen, SDARL Board Chair. “Their expertise in the industry is well known, and each person will be an asset as we move our leadership programming forward. And we greatly appreciate the service of our three departing board members.”

The three new members replace three long-standing members whose terms have expired. They are Brad Sanderson and Jon Nelson, both from Lake Preston and pictured with Board Chair Nate Franzen, and Dr. Roxanne Knock from Tulare.



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