South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Foundation

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SDARL Alumni Meeting, February 24, 2015




The South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership Alumni Association met in Annual meeting at 1:30 pm, Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at the AmericInn in Fort Pierre. This meeting was held in conjunction with the SDARL Gala in the evening.


President Jon Nelson called the meeting to order and asked for approval of the agenda.  A minor notation was made of golf tournament dates and the agenda was approved.


President Nelson asked for approval of minutes of the November, 2014 Annual Meeting which had been held in Oacoma during the first class session of SDARL Class VIII, with the minutes sent to members via e-mail following the meeting. It was moved and seconded to approve those minutes. Motion carried.


Treasurer Nathan Sparks presented the Treasurer’s Report. October 31, 2014 balance was $40,070.46, with total income received as of January 30, 2015 of $24,275.26 (primarily from alumni dues and alumni trip receipts). Total expenses from October, 2014 through January, 2015 were $13,167.00 (most of the expenses were for the alumni trip to Hawaii), leaving a checking account balance as of January 30, 2015 of $51,178.72. This account balance plus the CD of $76,500 gives the Alumni Association total funds of $127,678.72. Dan Gee reported on lifetime memberships being received. A motion to approve the report was seconded and passed.


Terry Jaspers reported on the Alumni Relations trip to Hawaii in January. 23 people were on the trip. A trip to Italy is proposed for the summer of 2016 and may be 9 to 10 days with a possible extension (perhaps to Greece).


Steve Pohl reported on the Continuing Education Committee. He reviewed the educational tour of Bel Brands and the SDSU Field House during the Brookings session in December, 2014. He noted that plans are being made for another educational opportunity in June, 2015 in conjunction with the Class VIII session. Steve also mentioned that the Alumni Association will sponsor speakers at the event. Discussion was held regarding possible future educational offerings and a suggestion of business plan creation/review for ag producers may be a good opportunity. Jon Nelson has made contact with the Family Farm Groups of St. Louis to offer this if there is interest. It could be open to non-SDARL members as well.


2015 Golf Tournament dates were noted, with the Mitchell date set for July 17, 2015 and the Black Hills date set for September 12, 2015.



Old Business:

The Strategic Plan summary and recap was presented. The strategic plan is being worked on by the Alumni Board of Directors and led by Nate Franzen.


Jon Nelson reported that the Florida leadership group had toured North and South Dakota last October, stopping at the Bill Slovek ranch and Jon Nelson farm. That group has invited South Dakota to visit Florida in the future.


It was noted that SDARL Alumni Assoc. had sponsored the VJ Smith presentation at the Class VIII session in Brookings in December.


New Business:

Jon Nelson noted that a fund has been established for a Class VI member who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Class VI will send out more information and the fund will be run through the Alumni Association.


Information regarding a proposed “exchange” between Class VIII members and SDARL Alumni was presented. Lori Cope, SDARL Director, has developed this program in order to increase relationships between the current class and alumni. Alumni interested in participating need to return a registration form by May 1, 2015.


Discussion was held regarding the possibility of including leadership graduates from other states in the SDARL Alumni program. Dan Gee will research policies from other states and present information to the Board of Directors. This may be brought to the next annual meeting, which is scheduled for April, 2016 (Class VIII graduation).


With no other business, the meeting adjourned to an educational program presented by Bill Even, former SD Secretary of Agriculture who is now with Pioneer.


Respectfully submitted,




Brad Sanderson, Secretary

In This Section


Contact Us


Lori Cope, Executive Director

West River Ag Center

1905 N Plaza Boulevard

Rapid City, SD 57702-9302

Cell: 605-216-6178


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