We’re excited that you’re considering taking the next step in developing your leadership potential through the SDARL program. On behalf of our Board of Directors, over 300 graduates and current class members, let us assure you that being selected for a SDARL class is a rewarding and life-changing experience. Our board is looking for each class to have 2/3 of its members actively working in agricultural production (farmer or rancher), and 1/3 in ag-related industries and community development.
The application process is a precise procedure, and the items below should be carefully reviewed before you begin your application to help prepare for the application process.
- Take time to familiarize yourself with the South Dakota Agriculture and Rural Leadership website carefully noting what is expected of you, if selected.
- Please review the Program FAQ Page and the SDARL: About the Program Page to acquaint yourself with the requirements of a participant in the SDARL program.
- If you are not self-employed, ask your employer to fill out the Employer’s Commitment Statement for submission with your application. It is important that your employer be aware of the time commitment of this program. Instructions for this form will be provided at the end of the application process.
- Due to the security parameters of our system, please use a personal rather than company e-mail address to process your application.
- If you have a Spouse/Partner, they should complete the form designated as Spouse/Partner Supporting Statement. Again, instructions will be provided on how to submit this form once your application is submitted.
- Applicants should pre-prepare responses to the following questions BEFORE beginning the application process. Responses may then be appropriately pasted into the application form. Each answer should be 250 words or less:
- Discuss an important issue facing agriculture in our state. Discuss one specific idea that you have in addressing this issue.
- Why would you like to participate in the SDARL program?
- Describe two or three major challenges facing rural communities in our state? Discuss a possible solution to one of those challenges.
- What impact has SDARL had on agriculture in the last decade?
- If selected for the SDARL program, how would you utilize the leadership knowledge and experience you will gain?
- Application to the program requires that three references are provided. You should consider providing at least one personal reference (a friend, clergy, or person who knows you outside a work environment) and at least one professional reference (someone for whom or with whom you worked). The selection of personal recommenders should be made regarding their ability to provide the type of information requested on the form. Professional recommenders should be people you have known on a professional level. Send the following link to the recommendation page to the people you wish to make a recommendation on your behalf. Link will be available on January 1, 2023!
- The application process requires that a recent photograph of yourself be submitted. Please prepare and have available a Headshot that is approximately 220px wide by 275px high @ 72dpi. The form upload will only accept jpg file formats.
- You will be asked to upload an information sheet as a pdf. The sheet must include items in these four basic sections. but you can format the document as you wish. If you have a resume prepared that contains all of this information, you may upload that.
- Basic information, such as name, address, city, state, zip code, email, cell phone number, gender, date of birth, citizenship, driver’s license #, and any felony convictions;
- Work experience since you turned 21 years of age, with the most recent job listed first.
- Education going back to high school, including colleges or institutes attended, dates, any degrees earned or technical training achieved.
- Membership and Service including military service, and memberships in agricultural organizations, church, civic, or government organizations. Be sure to indicate leadership responsibilities or board positions held if any.
- Responsibility for submission of all forms rests with the candidate. Applications that are incomplete or lack a reference response from one of your references will not be considered.
- All applicants will receive acknowledgment of receipt of their application and recommendations from SDARL. A committee will screen all applications. South Dakota Agriculture and Rural Leadership will notify each applicant of his or her acceptance status after the selection committee has concluded its work.
- Up to 28 applicants will be accepted to each class. If applicants are not accepted, they may reapply for another class.
- The deadline for submissions is March 20, 2023.
PLEASE NOTE: SOME BROWSERS AND COMPUTER SETTINGS MAY HINDER THE PROCESSING OF THE SUBMITTED APPLICATION. THE APPLICATION HAS BEEN TESTED USING CHROME AND THE FIREFOX BROWSER. DUE TO THE SECURITY PARAMETERS OF OUR SYSTEM, PLEASE USE A PERSONAL RATHER THAN THE COMPANY EMAIL ADDRESS TO PROCESS YOUR APPLICATION.