Belle Fourche Chamber honors its roots at ag banquet

Farm Forum

The Belle Fourche roots in agriculture were celebrated on Oct 4 at the Community Hall with the annual Chamber of Commerce Ag Banquet.

Dan and Doug Davis were honored as Ag persons of the Year. Jim and Charli Davis were recognized as the Dick Reder Young Rancher Family of the Year and Center of the Nation Wool was recognized as the Ag Business of the Year.

Larry Prager accepted the ag business honors on behalf of the Center of the Nation Wool operation in Belle Fourche.

Prager said few people realize the economic importance of the wool warehousing and brokerage operation along the railroad tracks in downtown Belle Fourche.

It’s the largest wool warehouse operation in the United States, and serves around 1,800 sheep producers that are largely on the Northern Plains.

It’s also a major exporter of U.S. agriculture overseas since most of today’s textile production is outside the country.

Ag persons of the year are brothers Doug and Dan Davis who have their ranching operations north of Belle Fourche. They’re sons of Rex and Alfreda Davis.

Doug, the elder, was born in Belle Fourche in 1961. He attended school in Gustave and Camp Crook through eighth grade and then Belle Fourche in 1979. He worked on the ranch and at Knapp Sawmill until attending Western Dakota Tech where he received certification in mechanics. He worked in mechanics including for BPM at Colony as general mechanic.

He continued working on the family ranch. In June of 1988 the Davis family purchased the Collins Ranch near Harding. Dan moved with his family from the homestead ranch to the Collins Ranch.

Doug married Julia Latham in 1986 and they continued to live in Belle Fourche until moving to the Davis Homestead Ranch at Camp Crook in 1989.

Dan was born in 1963 and followed his brother in school at Gustave and Camp Crook and Belle Fourche High School.

He went to welding school in Rapid City and worked for Raber Welding in Belle Fourche until moving to the family ranch in 1986.

Along with ranching, Dan also has operated a welding service, archery guide service and ag water line service.

The brothers continued improving their cattle and sheep business boh from the animal side and from the feed side.

New corral systems allow more efficient movement of livestock on the ranch.

Both brothers are constantly working toward improving the overall ranch operation.

Dick Reder Young Rancher Family honorees this year are Jim and Charli Davis and daughter Piper Jo.

Jim grew up on the century-old Earl Davis place north of Belle Fourche.

He’s taken on the ranching operation and continues a family passion of flying.

A Belle Fourche High School 1993 graduate, he moved to the Box K in the spring of 1994 to endure his first season of heifers.

With his airplane, he’s also adept at animal damage predator control.

He met Charli Goffena at a wedding. She’s also a fourth generation rancher – and daughter of a rancher-pilot.

She graduated from Dickinson State University in 2003 and moved to Belle Fourche. She has worked at Pioneer Bank and Trust since 2005. The two married in 2008. Their daughter Piper was born in 2012. Piper will be the fifth generation to begin on the ranch that was settled more than 100 years ago.