North Dakota Stockmen’s Association recognizes environmental practices at Black Leg Ranch

Farm Forum

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) presented the 2015 Environmental Stewardship Award to Jerry and Renae Doan and their family of McKenzie, N.D., during the NDSA’s 86th Annual Convention & Trade Show in Bismarck, N.D., on Sept. 26.

Jerry and Renae Doan operate the Black Leg Ranch with their children Jeremy and his wife Ashlee, Jay and his wife Kari, Jayce, Shanda and her husband Don Morgan. The family uses a variety of holistic management practices including rotational grazing systems, cover cropping, winter grazing and no-till farming to manage their own 600-head commercial herd and to custom graze an additional 2,400 head of yearlings and cow-calf pairs.

The Doans have diversified their operation with a thriving outfitting business venue that utilizes the ranch’s more than 17,000 acres of wildlife habitat to provide top-tier upland and big-game hunting trips. The family also provides a venue for agritourism activities in North Dakota. They say agritourism gives them an opportunity to tell agriculture’s positive story to guests from across the United States and the world.

The family has installed approximately 65 miles of cross-fencing and 16 miles of shallow poly pipeline to implement their cell grazing system. The management changes have increased plant diversity and lowered the family’s input costs.

The Environmental Stewardship Award is sponsored in part by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

As the state ESAP winner, the Doans will compete against other state ESAP winners from South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.