Business Q&A: Raymond Sutton Ranch

Name of Business: Raymond Sutton Ranch

Address: 28841 166th Street, Gettysburg, SD 57442

Phone: 605-264-5452

Facebook (and other social media presence): Raymond Sutton Ranch – Facebook

Who is answering these questions?: Georga Sutton – President

Tell us about your business: We raise Quarter Horses, Paints, bison, and are a cow/calf operation. The cow herd is Angus and Hereford.

How and/or why did you get into this business?: Part of the Sutton Ranches established in 1895. The Raymond Sutton Ranch branched off in the early 1960s. We continued to raise horned Hereford cattle and stopped selling bulls with our 55th sale in the mid 1980s. The Quarter Horses came to the ranch in 1948 from stock purchased in Texas.

What products or services do you offer?: Quarter Horses, calves, and bison breeding stock and trophy animals. We also sell bison to be used in training cutting and working cowhorses.

How many employees do you have?: Since my husband was killed fighting a fire on our ranch in 2005, the labor force is myself and our daughter.

What is your businesses’ best asset?: We provide both excellent quality animals and focus on treating our customers as the important people they are to our business.

What are you most proud of?: The honors that our horse program has brought to the ranch.

What makes your business stand out from its competitors? How do you keep up with changes?: We are serious breeders of livestock and believe in continually striving to improve our herds. Although we continue to use animals whose bloodlines have been in our program for many years, we also bring in new and improved genetics.

What’s the best piece of business advice or compliment you have received? What would you tell a new business?: Our customers trust us to tell the truth about our livestock. The number of repeat buyers of many years attests to the statement we use. We have been in the business of cattle for over 80 years and Quarter Horses for 66 years. You don’t stay in business if you don’t do everything right. That means being honest and and standing behind what you sell.

What are your goals for the future?: We will be experimenting with embryo transfer in our horse breeding program. Heather (the daughter) is a DVM. We will be breeding a number of older mares from both our core ranch stock and some that have outstanding NCHA earnings and produce.

How do you support your community, and vice versa?: During our annual horse sale, the lunch is provided by the junior class of the ABO School (Sully Buttes). We also try to provide opportunities for school classes and clubs to earn money when we need a little extra labor.