Young Scotland farmer enthused for leadership development

January 9, 2024

Part of South Dakota Soybean’s mission is to develop strong leaders. Jeff Kloucek, a young farmer from Scotland, South Dakota, is on the South Dakota Soybean Association Board. That board membership is a component of his having been chosen as the 2022-23 South Dakota Corteva Young Leader. The leadership development aspect of the Corteva Young Leader Program has made Kloucek a believer in that program, as well as a participant in the Genesis Leaders Program, operated cooperatively with the South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership Program (SDARL).

“It’s a shorter version of the SDARL Academy,” Kloucek told the South Dakota Soybean Network. “It’s just in South Dakota, but it’s a great program for expanding your leadership skills, networking in the state and just preparing yourself for future leadership on the boards.”

The first of four monthly sessions of the Genesis Leaders Program Class 3 was held in mid-December. That first session, according to Kloucek, was an introduction to the program and to the principles of leadership.

“And then we go through the legislative process out in Pierre for a session,” explained Kloucek. “The last two sessions are just more on leadership and how to put it together. And then how to move forward with the skills you’ve learned and how to serve the agricultural industry of South Dakota.”

Kloucek became involved in the Genesis Leaders Program Class 3 in response to South Dakota Soybean’s attempts to recruit interested candidates.

“They were calling around asking for people to join the program,” he said. “It’s on the South Dakota Soybean website was the sign-up. For this year, they’ve got a full slate, but they’ve had really good success with the program in the past, so hopefully they’ll continue to provide this program in the future.”

Kloucek compares the South Dakota Soybean Genesis Leaders Program to his just-completed Corteva Young Leader Program, which hosted representatives from 26 states with whom Kloucek had much in common.

“We all have the same concerns, and we all share the same values, so that was probably the biggest part of it was just the networking,” said Kloucek, referring to the Corteva Young Leader Program. “But then, there was a lot of leadership and advocacy training in that program, more so on the national level.”