New South Dakota Ag &amp; Rural Leadership <br />class seeks participants from ag industry

Farmers, ranchers, and agri-business people ages 25-55 are encouraged to enroll in the upcoming South Dakota Ag & Rural Leadership class.

The deadline to sign up for the South Dakota Ag & Rural Leadership Class VI (SDARL) is March 15. Applications and more information are available at this link: http://sdarl.org. Organizers will interview candidates in April, class members will be announced in May, and the group's inaugural session will be held on Nov. 20 in Chamberlain.

Up to 30 South Dakotans will make up SDARL Class VI. The group of men and women will engage in 11 seminar sessions, including national and international ones, over the course of the 18-month class.

Former South Dakota State University meat science professor Dan Gee, and his wife, Rae Jean will lead the course. Dan Gee said past SDARL classes have helped prepare leaders.

"Men and women interested in taking leadership roles in agriculture or rural communities are encouraged to apply," said Gee. "Our goal is to get people involved in the decision-making processes that will affect their community."

Past program participants include agricultural producers, bankers, non-profit professionals, economic developers, and others who work in agricultural-allied industries. Program alumni have gone on to serve in state and local government, as well as national and international leadership positions.

The Livestock Foundation developed the SDARL as a method to develop more leaders for the state's most important industry. 2010 will mark its 11th year.

SDARL is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to identifying and developing leadership for agriculture and rural communities in order to enhance the quality of life for all South Dakotans.

E-mail SDARL executive director Dan Gee at Dan.Gee@sdstate.edu or program director Michelle Robbins at Michelle.Robbins@sdstate.edu for more information.

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