The eleventh class has been selected for the South Dakota Agricultural & Rural Leadership (SDARL) program. Twenty-six individuals from across the state will participate in the program that develops the skills, knowledge and character of leaders for rural communities and the state’s most essential industry.

Class XI includes 12 members who work hands-on at a ranch or farm. Others members represent the diversity of agri-business, food processing and non-profit organizations that include precision agriculture, ag finance, education, government and multinational corporations.

Class XI members include:

Cindy Aman, Eureka; Chad Biegler, Sioux Falls; Corey Chicoine, Sioux Falls; Caleb Dinse, Aurora;  Stacia Even, Humboldt; Evan Grong, Milbank; Kevin Haselhorst, Yankton; Marcus Heemstra, Brookings; Neal Hegg, Huron; Mark Hendrix, Custer; Heather Hofer, Marion; Brandon Hope, Volga; Cory Hughes, Sioux Falls; Colette Kessler, Pierre; Shannon Kubik, Hamill; Justin LaMont, Willow Lake; Cindy Heidelberg Larson, Lennox; Michael Miller, Freeman; Paul Moore, Madison; Dani Murray, Arlington; Matt Odden, Rapid City; Emily Peterson, Highmore; Jarrett Rix, Aberdeen; Leander Schieffer, Parkston; Tanya Torguson, Bath; and Elly Jo Wagner, Redfield.

“This class marks a turning point in the history of SDARL,” noted SDARL CEO Don Norton. “We’re beginning our third decade of leadership development with an outstanding group of individuals who have already demonstrated leadership in their communities and within their families. Our job is to take them to the next level of service.”

The class members will begin their 18-month leadership development program in November 2020. There are 12 seminars in the SDARL leadership series, including one seminar in Washington, D.C., and one international study seminar.

“Class XI continues the tradition of excellence that is the hallmark of the SDARL program,” said Norton. “When this class graduates in 2022, it will bring our list of graduates to 326. These are influential and impactful leaders in South Dakota agriculture.”

Selection to the program is competitive and requires a formal application and interview. Applications for the next SDARL class will begin in January 2022.


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