South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Foundation

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SDARL Leads Career Exploration for FFA Students

Graduates of the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Foundation (SDARL) talked about careers and workforce development with South Dakota agriculture students as part of the FFA Leadership retreat held June 27 at Swan Lake Christian Camp near Viborg.


SDARL graduates set up “Career Exploration Stations” and visited with students and advisors on career opportunities in veterinary science, agricultural communications, ag marketing, precision ag, ag lending, bio fuels and resource conservation. An additional “Leadership Issues Panel” of SDARL graduates discussed current issues challenging the agricultural community.


Featured presenters included John Melius, Brookings; Shaun Rausch, Brookings; Dr. Tammy Anderson, Pierre; Dr. Rebecca Rink, Huron; Pam Geppert, Kimball; Lealand Schoon, White River; Sarah Bauder, Mitchell; Kevin Moe, Yankton; Nathan Jensen, Beresford; and Adam Wirt, Lennox. Issues panel members included Sarah Tveidt, Sioux Falls; Joe Schefers, Brookings; and David Skaggs, Pierre. The closing speaker for the day was Doug Berven, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, POET.


“This was a great opportunity for high school students and their advisors to connect and network with professionals in a variety of food and agriculture jobs in the state,” said Don Norton, SDARL CEO. “We’re very pleased to partner with the FFA to bring training to students who are the future of agriculture in South Dakota.”


The workshop was sponsored by a grant from the South Dakota Agricultural Foundation, in conjunction with the Career & Technical Education Department of the South Dakota Department of Education. A similar session will be held during an FFA leadership retreat scheduled for Custer on July 11.



At left, John Melius (SDARL VI) talks with high school FFA students about careers in agricultural consulting and marketing during the East River Leadership Retreat in Viborg.