Founded in 1998 by a group of forward-thinking educators and agricultural professionals, the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Program (SDARL) was established to ensure that the South Dakota rural agricultural community continues to thrive! The SDARL leadership program is conducted under the auspices of a 15-member Board of Directors who oversee the SDARL Foundation, a 501 ( c ) 3 non-profit foundation. There are approximately thirty such programs across the United States and Canada, in addition to the international Nuffield Scholars program. The flagship 18-month leadership program is the primary means of carrying out the mission of the SDARL Foundation, along with educational opportunities for alumni and other agricultural entities in the state.

To identify and develop leadership for agriculture and rural to enhance the quality of life in South Dakota.

Engaged Leadership for a Vibrant South Dakota!

The SDARL program has 300 alumni from the first ten classes. Class XI (eleven) will be chosen in 2020 and will carry out its 18-month leadership development experience between November 2020 and April 2022. Every day, SDARL graduates make a positive and profound impact on agriculture and rural communities throughout the state. Our leaders serve on commodity boards and county boards, in legislative chambers and Chambers of Commerce—building consensus, building teams, building South Dakota. You see the results of our leadership development program when our graduates serve as volunteers and leaders on school, city, church, healthcare, economic development, county commission, zoning, and various industry boards. They are leading by example as members of commodity groups and ag lending institutions. They are leading by positive influence in our state’s legislature, in state agencies, and as Governor appointees in various capacities. We are proud of what they have accomplished and of the positive results that will happen in the future. Much of that started when they made their decisions to take part in the SDARL program. Guaranteed, a SDARL experience will prepare you for lifelong leadership opportunities.