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 Brookings, SD. The Leadership Orientation Seminar was held December 11-13.

The seminar featured a presentation by Dana Dykhouse, CEO of First Premier Bank and Premier Bankcard, on the collaborative effort to improve facilities and academic offerings at South Dakota State University (SDSU), uplifting the entire state’s economic and educational climate in the process. Members received training in formal business dining etiquette. Ending the first day, class members toured the SDSU Swine Production facility and learned about the challenges of increasing jobs in the state through livestock production.

On the second day of the seminar, the class participated in Public Speaking Skill Enhancement training, led by Executive Director Lori Cope. The group received an update on the academic and construction initiatives at the land grant institution from SDSU President Barry Dunn, and toured the Bel Brand cheese factory, learning about high volume, quality cheese production and the use of milk produced at local dairies. Class members received training on professional business attire from Steve Kirkey, owner of Fergen’s Clothing and Shoes in Brookings. The day concluded with a banquet in conjunction with SDARL alumni, with SDSU football coach John Steigelmeier the featured speaker.

The closing day of the seminar included training on “The Value of Your Attitude” by professional speaker Matt Booth. This leadership exploration was held in conjunction with the class from the Minnesota Agricultural and Rural Leadership program.

Dana Dykhouse, CEO of First Premier Bank and Premier Bankcard (fourth from left), discusses facility improvements at the SDSU athletic complex.

CUTLINE: Members of Class X of the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Foundation flagship program learn about Bel Brand cheese produced from locally-sourced milk in Brookings.

SDSU President Barry Dunn provides an update on the facility and academic improvements currently in progress at the state’s land grant institution.

Nationally-known author and attitude speaker Matt Booth discusses the role of attitude in leadership with a joint meeting of the South Dakota and Minnesota agricultural and rural leadership programs.



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