INVEST IN THE FUTURE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

We call donations to SDARL “investments” because you can expect a return on that investment through the leadership service of our graduates.
SDARL receives no direct dollars from the state or federal  governments. The flagship leadership program is funded by investments made to the SDARL Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 corporation. It costs $20,000 for one person to complete the program. Participants pay 25% of the cost, leaving about $16,000 needed for each person to attend seminars.
Program funding comes from companies, individuals, and partner organizations who share a passion for developing leaders who will keep South Dakota agriculture and rural communities thriving!

We invite you to help us build the leadership capacity in South Dakota. To contact us about making a donation, please complete the form below.


Or you can donate directly with PayPal

SDARL Leadership building leaders from within
SDARL Leadership Walt Bones
SDARL alumni events

What Is SDARL?

SDARL is an asset to growing South Dakota! Through an 18-month leadership development program, seminars for FFA instructors and commodity groups, and advanced leadership learning for alumni, the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Foundation is building the leadership capacity of our state.

Diamond – $20,000 and up

  • First Dakota National Bank
  • SD Soybean and Research Council
  • South Dakota Corn Growers

Platinum – $10,000 – 19,999

  • Avera Health
  • CHS Foundation
  • CoBank
  • Dacotah Bank
  • First Premier Bank & Premier Bank Card
  • South Dakota Community Foundation
  • Valley Queen Cheese

Gold – $5,000 – 9,999

  • East River Electric Power Cooperative
  • Farm Credit Services of America
  • First National Bank Sioux Falls
  • Fishback Financial Corporation – First Bank and Trust
  • Glen and Janet Davis – Legend Seed
  • Midwest Dairy Association
  • Sanford Health
  • SDSU Foundation
  • South Dakota Beef Industry Council
  • South Dakota Wheat Commission
  • SD Wheat Growers – AgTegra

Silver – $1,000 – 4,999

  • Black Hills Forest Association
  • Dakotaland Feeds
  • DeSmet Farm Mutual
  • First National Bank in Yankton
  • Great Western Bank
  • Harms Oil
  • Hoop Beef
  • Hurley & Associates
  • MetaBank
  • Milborn Seeds
  • Monsanto
  • Raven Industries
  • RC PE Railroad
  • Riverview Farms
  • South Dakota Agricultural Foundation
  • South Dakota Community Foundation
  • South Dakota Farm Bureau
  • South Dakota Soybean Processors
  • Zoetis

Bronze – $100 – 999

  • SD Grain and Feed Association
  • SD Soybean Processors
  • Wagner Farms

Good for all of South Dakota

Jodi and John Melius talk about how SDARL helps build families in South Dakota

Who Participates?

The flagship 18-month SDARL leadership program is made up of a class of participants: men and women approximately aged 25-55 years, who are employed full-time in production agriculture, agri-related occupations, or community/rural development. Participants must live in South Dakota or has a demonstrated sphere of influence that benefits South Dakota agriculture and rural communities. Participants have demonstrated leadership experience, and have a high potential for future leadership growth. There is an expectation that these individuals will serve in leadership capacities in their communities and the state.

A Selection Team considers the application and information obtained during an interview to determine which applicants will make the best “fit” into class. The recommendation of the Selection Team is then sent to the SDARL Board of Directors, which makes the final decision on class membership.

Why Support?

SDARL receives no direct dollars from the state or federal governments. The leadership program is funded by investments made to the SDARL Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 corporation. It costs $20,000 for one person to complete the program. Participants pay 25% of the cost, leaving about $16,000 needed for each person to attend seminars.

Program funding comes from companies, individuals, and partner organizations who share a passion for developing leaders who will keep South Dakota agriculture and rural communities thriving!

We call these contributions “investments” because the return on investment is lived out each day in the leadership service of our graduates.

Thank You

Tiffani Robertson, rancher and entrepreneur in the Rapid City area, thanks SDARL donors

Our Activities

SDARL provides leadership training on three levels. Learn more about this valuable resource to South Dakota – SDARL!

SDARL Experiential Learning Timber

Flagship 18-month leadership program

The 300 graduates and current class members of this leadership program include South Dakota Secretaries of Agriculture, President of the South Dakota Farm Bureau, officers of Agtegra, SD Corn Growers, SD Soybean Association, legislators, and community leaders. Our leaders serve on commodity boards and county boards, in legislative chambers and Chambers of Commerce—building consensus, building teams, building South Dakota.

SDARL in Lettuce field

Graduate Experience

Leaders recognize the need to be lifelong learners. SDARL graduates participate in domestic and international travel related to agriculture, receptions, and half-day seminars to advance their leadership potential at their own expense. This network of leaders also has self-funded social events such as golf outings and dinners, where ideas are exchanged and fellowship abounds.

SDARL training

Specialty Leadership Training

SDARL has a comprehensive leadership development curriculum and speaker’s bureau that is shared with partner organizations through leadership-oriented seminars. These partners include commodity organizations, community groups, and allied educational groups, such as the FFA. Contact the SDARL office to learn more.

Latest News

December 18, 2018

Attitude Expert is Featured Speaker for SDARL Alumni and Guests

Renowned attitude expert Matt Booth was the featured speaker at a December 12 afternoon seminar for graduates of the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership …

December 18, 2018

Ag and Rural Leaders Explore Communication and Collaboration Skills

Members of Class X of the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Program (SDARL) enhanced their communication and collaboration skills during a recent seminar in …

December 4, 2018

SDARL Graduates Take Center Stage at Recent Events

SDARL graduates and staff members were featured prominently in several events during November. Above, Scott Vander Wal (SDARL III), President of the South Dakota Farm …