Apply Now for 2023-24 Genesis Leaders Program

August 17, 2023

South Dakota Soybean is accepting applications for the next Genesis Leaders Program. The Soybean Checkoff has partnered with the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Program (SDARL) to deliver the custom Genesis Program for soybean growers. The CEO of SDARL, new this year, is Janelle Booth who calls the Soybean Checkoff Genesis Leaders Program fantastic.

“It’s a leadership development series that’s aimed towards people in the soybean industry, anyone aged 21 and older who have direct participation within the industry,” said Booth, in an interview with the South Dakota Soybean Network. “What the Soybean Genesis Program is all about is really focusing on leadership development, focusing on industry knowledge; it’s personal growth and it’s also a lot of preparation for people that are actively engaged in raising soybeans that are ready to step up, take on leadership roles and have a greater understanding of all of the aspects of the industry as they’re taking place around the state.”

The Genesis Leaders Program, now in its third year, is made up of four day-long seminars taking place in varying locations around the state from this coming December to March of 2024. “The first one is kind of an industry overview where everyone gets to meet the major players that make up the soybean industry,” she said. “They understand the role of South Dakota Soybean, of the Soybean [Research and Promotion] Council and the Soybean Checkoff and really understand what goes into marketing and keeping an organization like South Dakota Soybean on the forefront of these issues.”

The second seminar, in January during the legislative session in Pierre, focuses on state lawmaking. “A lot of that will be meeting with legislators, really understanding how laws are made and how some of these policies that would impact agriculture take place and take shape throughout the state,” Booth explained.

The third session, in February, called the Forward Focus Seminar, concentrates on innovation. “That’s looking at some really current innovators in the soybean industry,” said Booth, “and who some of the partners are and what’s on the cutting edge of innovation when it comes to growing soybeans and utilizing them.”

The fourth and final session of the series is next March and focuses on leadership readiness.

“Now people who have gone through the program had all of this education. They were able to learn about what’s going on in the industry,” she said, “and a lot of it is also self-reflection and really developing that foundation for leadership.”

Beyond leadership training, Genesis participants can potentially take personal improvement from the program.

“There are always opportunities to explore new avenues within your own operation, within how things are run within your family and within your business,” she said. “And so that focus on growth and understanding kind of the history of why things happen the way they do and then being able to apply that to your own personal circumstance is really important when you’re looking at developing an individual and developing that individual as a leader for the state.”

Applications for the Genesis Leaders Program are due November 10th.

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