AGRICULTURE

Cattle industry enthusiasts have a Ball, raise money for charitable causes

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Farm Forum

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Foundation (NDSF) raised nearly $58,000 for beef industry scholarship, leadership, research, promotion and building projects and disaster relief in a night of western elegance at the 2013 Stockmen’s Ball Dec. 14 at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck, N.D.

“We are grateful for the amazing support we received and to have had the chance to gather with friends and build the future of the beef industry together,” said Towner, N.D., rancher Jason Zahn, who serves as the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) and NDSF president.

The night began with a social and cowboy music by NDSA members Casey Fredericks of Halliday, N.D., and Beni Paulson of Richardton, N.D. Radio personality and Rhame, N.D., rancher Scott Bachmeier served as the Ball emcee. He led a program honoring those who helped pave the way for today’s beef industry and whose loved ones honored their memory with a commemorative photo in the NDSA’s Memorial Hall over the last two years. Honorees included Orlin “Bill” and Lola Hanson, Sherwood, N.D.; Wayne Johnson, Sharon, N.D.; Kim Rath, Wishek, N.D.; Jack and Vander Reich, Zap, N.D.; and Terry Robinson, Bismarck, N.D.

The 2010 World Champion Livestock Auctioneer Kyle Shobe of Lewistown, Mont., called a lively fundraiser auction with lots ranging from handcrafted western furniture and an antique brand book to a National Finals Rodeo package and original artwork created specifically to benefit the NDSF’s Aid for Atlas Disaster Relief effort.

The Ball also included the Foundation’s inaugural Stick Horse Futurity, where guests had a chance to be a racehorse owner and support the NDSF’s charitable objectives. Six mounts were auctioned. NDSF Advisory Committee member Renee Erickson of Dickinson, N.D., jockeyed for her and her husband, Koester Red Angus and Leland Red Angus and won by a nose in a fun, spirited competition during a dance intermission.

During another intermission, the crowd also got to meet Natalie Laubner Tokach of Mandan, N.D., a past scholarship recipient, who thanked the NDSF for her scholarship and talked about the difference it made for her as she prepared for her career in the animal health industry. The NDSF will be offering seven collegiate scholarships in 2014.

There was some friendly competition among bidders in the silent auction, which featured 71 items, including a one-of-a-kind western campfire ring, original artwork, autographed books by NDSA-member authors and other unique gifts.

After a prime rib supper, Kyle Shobe turned his chants into melodies as he and the rest of his band, The Walk ‘Em Boys, took the stage. Couples danced to the band’s original music, as well as to that from other popular country and rock artists.

“The Ball far exceeded our expectations,” said NDSA and NDSF Executive Vice President Julie Ellingson. “Thanks to all those who attended and supported the event. Your generosity will help the Stockmen’s Foundation invest in the future of the cattle industry.”

Major sponsors of the Stockmen’s Ball included Dakota Community Bank & Trust; Jamestown Implement; Kelley’s McDonald’s; Farm & Ranch Guide; Kupper Chevrolet; Stockmen’s Livestock Exchange; Pahlke Steel, Inc.; Advanced Agri-Direct; Denny’s Electric & Motor Repair; and Gate City Bank of Dickinson.

The NDSF will host its next Stockmen’s Ball on Dec. 12, 2015, at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck.