Members of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) elected 35-year-old member and Arnegard, ND, breeder Jason Leiseth as president of the organization at the NDSA’s 93rd Annual Convention and Trade Show,” All In”, September 24 in Bismarck, ND
Leiseth operates a commercial Red Angus cow-calf operation and raises small grains and hay. Leiseth and his wife Peggy have three children, Erik (Fallon), Brady and Tyler and two grandchildren, Banks and Lenni. Leiseth has served on the NDSA Resolutions Committee, NDSA Brand Council, and NDSA Food and Marketing Committee and served as Director and Vice President of District 5 before assuming the leadership position. of the NDSA.
In her closing session remarks, Leiseth spoke of the endless need to unite, protect, promote, educate and serve the North Dakota beef industry. “From the issues ranchers face every day, to the next Farm Bill and other laws, to natural disasters and challenges we haven’t even seen coming yet, we’re all in this together,” Leiseth said. “Good times are just ahead of us in the livestock business.” He thanked the generations that came before him and their guidance as he steps into his role as president. Leiseth expressed his excitement and noted that he’s never been anything but “All In” in the cattle industry because that’s the only way he knows how to do things.
Randy Schmitt, an 18-year-old member from Rugby, ND, was elected vice-president of the NDSA. Schmitt and his wife Stacey have four children, Mattie (Chelsey), Lane, Grace and Ty. The Schmitt family operates a 350 head commercial cow-calf operation using Simmental and Red Angus genetics. Their calves are isolated and sold off the farm. In addition, they sell replacement females. The Schmitts grow all of their feed, including alfalfa, cover crops, grain corn, and silage corn.
Prior to being elected vice president, Schmitt was director of District 6, served as chair of the NDSA’s Agricultural Policy Committee, and as a member of the NDSA’s Budget Committee. He also sits on the construction committee of the NDSA.
Bryan Ressler of Cooperstown, ND was elected to his first four-year term in District 1. Ressler is a partner of Ressler Land and Cattle. Along with his brother Mark, they manage a medium-sized herd of registered Red Angus cows and sell upcoming 2-year-old bulls at their annual production sale. In addition to registered cattle, he also maintains a commercial SimAngus cow-calf operation with his father. He also has a farm and grows wheat, corn and soybeans. He and his wife Lauren have a son, Isaiah. Ressler has been a member of the NDSA for six years.
In District 2, Jeffrey Breker of Havana, ND, was reelected to a second four-year term. The 29-year NDSA member operates a commercial 210-head Angus cow-calf operation and finishing feedlot in southeastern North Dakota. The operation also includes a no-till farming operation including corn, beans, wheat and cover crops. Breker and his wife Jody have three children, Jacob, Ashten and Greg. Breker is Vice Chair of the Feed and Marketing Committee and Liaison to the NDSA Feeder Council Board of Directors.
Carter Vander Wal of Pollock, SD was reelected to a second four-year term. The 10-year NDSA member operates a commercial cow-calf operation with his wife Merlynn on the North Dakota-South Dakota border, often putting his calves in the background. He also grows corn, wheat and soybeans.
In District 4, Casey Voigt of Beulah, ND, was reelected to a second four-year term. The 21-year-old NDSA member owns a 300-head cow-calf and heifer development operation, breeding Angus-based cows to Angus and Hereford bulls, retaining black heifers and marketing F1 bald heifers. In addition, Voigt rides and trains Quarter Horses. Voigt and his wife Julie have two children, Leah and Casey Lane. Voigt serves as vice chairman of the NDSA’s Research and Education Committee.
In District 5, Calli Thorne of Watford City, ND, was re-elected to a second four-year term. The 16-year-old NDSA member runs a primarily Angus cow-calf operation and operates a custom feedlot. The Thorne family sells beef directly to consumers year-round. She also runs a leadership and personal development business where she gives talks, training and life coaching for rural and urban clients. Thorne and her husband CJ have three children, Tylee, Casen and Laney. Thorne sits on the planning committee for Tomorrow’s Top Hands Beef Leadership Summit.
Chase Jacobson of Columbus, ND, was elected to his first four-year term in District 6. The 24-year-old NDSA member is the fifth generation in his family’s cow-calf operation in northwest North Dakota, where they use Salers, Angus and Hereford. cattle. The family also owns sheep and horses and farms. Jacobson and his wife Taylor have a son, Croy.
Other members of the NDSA Board of Directors and Executive Committee include: Past NDSA President Jeff Schafer of New Rockford, ND; District 1 Directors Erika Kenner of Leeds, ND, Justin Maddock of Maddock, ND, Cliff Sanders, Jr., of Clifford, ND; District 2 Directors Wade Dally of Montpelier, ND, Jared Higgins of Woodworth, ND, and Brian McDonald of Leonard, ND; District 3 Directors Tim Erbele of Streeter, ND, Craig Kemmet of Tappen, ND, and Lowell Malard of Bismarck, ND; District 4 Directors Wayne Hepper of Fort Yates, ND, Scott Katus of Watauga, SD, and Joel Opp of Hebron, ND; District 5 Directors Pete Best of Watford City, ND, Howdy Lawlar of Watford City, ND, and Joe Schettler of Killdeer, ND; and District 6 Directors Shane Anderson of Towner, ND, Kevin Hansen of Ryder, ND, and Gary Martens of Ross, ND
NDSA agents serve up to two one-year terms. Directors serve up to two four-year terms.
NDSA members interested in running for a leadership position should notify the members of the respective nominating committee in their district. Nominating committees traditionally nominate their candidates in June.
North Dakota Stockmen’s Association salutes outgoing directors
NDSA District 1 Director Levi Rue of Sheyenne, ND, completed two terms and was no longer eligible for re-election. Rue served as chairman and vice-chairman of the Food and Marketing Committee and a member of special legislative committees.
NDSA District 6 Director Dennis Jacobson of Wildrose, ND, completed two terms and was no longer eligible for re-election. Jacobson served as Vice Chairman of the Animal Health Committee.
Outgoing NDSA President Dan Rorvig of McVille, ND has completed his service on the NDSA Executive Committee. Rorvig assumed the positions of Vice President and President after eight years of service on the NDSA Board of Directors. He has served on the NDSA Budget Committee and served as Chairman of the NDSA Agricultural Policy Committee. He was president of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Foundation. Additionally, he has hosted Spring Roundups, attended the All Breeds Cattle Tour, Beyond the Bunk Workshop, Tomorrow’s Top Hands Beef Leadership Summit, Feedlot Tour, military appreciation and at the annual convention. Rorvig manages a cow-calf herd, raises yearlings and develops purebred heifers near the Sheyenne River. He also worked as a banker for 30 years. Rorvig and his wife Teresa have two children, Amy (Taryl Smith) and Scott, and three grandchildren, Kade, Kahl and Kit Smith.
The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) recognized longtime association members Nancy Jo Bateman of New Salem, ND, Fred Helbling of Mandan, ND, and Jeff Schafer of New Rockford, ND, with honorary member awards at a special awards banquet during its annual convention in Bismarck, ND
–ND Breeders Association