North Dakota Stockmen’s Association names Chinn and Winter honorary members

Farm Forum

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) named two deserving advocates of North Dakota’s public lands ranchers honorary members during its 86th Annual Convention & Trade Show in Bismarck, N.D, last weekend.

Roger Chinn of Grassy Butte, N.D., and Keith Winter of Cartwright, N.D., received honorary memberships at the NDSA’s Annual Banquet Sept. 26.

Roger Chinn

Roger Chinn, a 30-year NDSA member, served as a McKenzie County Commissioner for 28 years. He also served as president of the North Dakota Association of Counties and as the western interstate region representative for the National Association of Counties.

He and his wife Gail leased their cow-calf and yearling operation to their son Brad and his wife, Jodi, 10 years ago.

Chinn is an avid supporter of public lands ranchers and the multiple use of those lands. He said the state’s beef producers have become much more aware of public lands issues through the work of organizations like the NDSA.

Chinn played a vital role in the 1990s helping North Dakota’s public lands counties boost federal payments in lieu of taxes to compensate for the federal ownership of land that local governments would typically tax.

Keith Winter

Keith Winter, a 42-year NDSA member, has served 25 years as the president of the McKenzie County Grazing Association.

Winter and his wife Pat also operate an Angus-Charolais-cross cow-calf operation near Cartwright. He ranches with his sons John and David.

In North Dakota, federal lands are not a reservation from the public domain, like the U.S. Forest Service’s national forests that are established by Congress. Instead, the former were purchased during the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s from homesteaders in the region. Winter said the distinction poses several arguments for the proper role of grazing on federal lands in North Dakota.

Winter said his goal is to continue protecting the right to graze on federal lands in North Dakota.

“The NDSA thanks both Roger and Keith for their continued advocacy on behalf of the ranching way of life and the balanced use of federal lands,” said NDSA President Steve Brooks of Bowman, N.D.

For more information or photos of the winners, call (701) 223-2522 or email