Mischel new CEO of SD leadership program
Nate Franzen, president of the Board of Directors for the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Foundation (SDARL), is pleased to announce Jason Mischel has been named CEO of SDARL.
In Mischel’s new role, he will have the day to day leadership responsibility of SDARL. This includes leading personnel, retaining and expanding stakeholders and maintaining and building on SDARL’s vision and mission. Lori Cope, executive director, will continue to be a key member of the SDARL executive management team. By adding Mischel to the team, Cope will be able to focus on delivering the best 18-month leadership program in the country. Mischel will report directly to the SDARL Board of Directors.
Mischel is a proven leader, entrepreneur and executive in the agriculture industry. For the past nine years he has been vice president of Sales and Milk Procurement for Valley Queen Cheese Factory. In that role, he was responsible for dairy ingredient sales, the administration of milk procurement policies and was deeply involved with dairy recruitment efforts along the I-29 corridor. Prior to joining Valley Queen, Mischel owned and operated a direct marketing business for twelve years before selling it in 2007. He received his accounting degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1996.
Mischel has been married to his wife Heidi since 1997. The Mischels have three children: William, Claire and Marion. They reside in Milbank, SD and have been heavily involved in their community and the ag industry. He has served or continues to serve with the following organizations: American Lutheran Church council, SDARL Board of Directors, Gustavus Adolphus Economics Advisory Council, Milbank Chamber of Commerce, Central Plains Dairy Expo and Lutheran Outdoors Strategic Planning Committee.
“We are excited to bring Jason on board to lead our team. He is uniquely positioned for this job because of his proven executive experience coupled with being a SDARL Class V graduate and member of the SDARL Foundation Board of Directors. We have set forth a plan to transition the SDARL organization to maximize our performance and impact on the future of South Dakota agriculture and rural areas,” said Franzen. “Key objectives in this transition include: merging the SDARL Foundation and SDARL Alumni Association, strengthening our partnership with SDSU’s College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, enhancing our graduate program, maintaining and building on the quality of our 18 month leadership program and retaining and building on our group of investors. A successful transition will further enhance the return on investment for our investors, assure the highest quality experience for our program participants and graduates and improve the ultimate positive impact our organization will have on South Dakota’s agriculture industry and rural areas. Now that we have 243 program graduates, it is time to make these strategic adjustments to our organization to maximize future performance and impact.”
SDARL was formed in 1999 by co-founders Denny Everson and Dan Gee. “This is a great move by the organization for the future,” said Gee. “As Denny and I move deeper into retirement, this new organizational structure, along with the leadership of Jason Mischel, will lead to continued and enhanced future success for SDARL.” Everson said, “I couldn’t be prouder of the individuals that have stepped forward to lead this organizational transition. It proves the leadership training received from this program continues to pay big dividends across agriculture and rural areas in South Dakota.”
SDARL is dedicated to identifying and developing leaders in agriculture and rural communities in order to enhance the quality of life for all South Dakotans. This unique program is designed to provide leadership training to rural residents from farming, ranching, agri-business and agricultural organizations. SDARL’s goal is to assist program participants in gaining the vision, knowledge, confidence and commitment necessary to assume leadership roles in South Dakota’s agricultural industry and rural areas.
SDARL’s vision is to ensure South Dakota’s communities can keep pace with the rate of change in agriculture today and into the future. It is imperative we continue to supply informed, decisive, communicative spokespersons to represent our industry and communities. We need to keep the public factually informed as policies are constructed and decisions are made. To address these needs, SDARL provides an intensive study and training experience for future agricultural leaders of South Dakota.
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the June 19, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News