The Board of Directors of the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Foundation (SDARL) has voted to pause its in-person leadership programming activities until the current surge in COVID-19 cases subsides.

The organization is postponing the first meeting of its 11th leadership class, scheduled for Brookings on November 6-7, and is postponing the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the program, scheduled for November 7. The graduation of the 10th leadership class, previously scheduled for April but rescheduled for November 8, also will be moved to a future date. The online benefit auction will proceed as planned, with bidding available October 31 – November 7. The auction is available online at

“As leaders, we need to make difficult decisions that first and foremost consider the well-being of our participants,” said Todd Mortenson, Chair of the SDARL Board of Directors. “All of these activities are important to our organization, but not at the expense of potential high-risk exposure to COVID-19.”

There has been a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state and the Brookings area that includes an increase in hospitalizations. The Centers for Disease Control considers large, in-person gatherings to be at the highest risk for possible exposure.

“We appreciate the hard work of the SDARL staff and the hospitality venues in Brookings,” said Don Norton, SDARL CEO. “The right decision for our organization at this time is to postpone these events and move our class activities into the future. We ask our alumni and other supporters to embrace our online auction and fundraising activities.”


March 16, 2023

New SDARL CEO Janel Booth

When new leadership comes into an organization, questions start flowing like water with anticipation of what is next. In a few short days, Janelle Booth …

March 7, 2023

Auction News

The Class XI Graduation Banquet and Fundraising Auction is set for March 25 in Fort Pierre at the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center and Museum. We …

February 14, 2023

International Seminar Class XI supermarket of the future and winery

Last Day International Seminar Class XI supermarket of the future and winery in Germany   A niche farm, a supermarket, and a winery tour…what a …

February 13, 2023

SDARL Class XI International Seminar Church Aachen Germany Urban Farm and Lignite Mine

SDARL Class XI International Seminar Day 12 Looks at Church,  Aachen, Germany, Urban Farm, & Lignite Mine To start the day on Sunday, February 12, …

Sign up for our newsletter

* indicates required fields