Jason Schmidt elected president of North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, Jason Zahn vice president | TSLN.com

Jason Schmidt elected president of North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, Jason Zahn vice president

North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) members elected Medina, ND-area rancher Jason Schmidt president of the state’s 81-year-old cattle trade organization during the association’s 81st Annual Convention & Trade Show last month in Minot, ND.

Schmidt, a fourth-generation rancher, pledged to uphold the values and beliefs of the 2,900-member organization by bringing a “youthful excitement” to the position and focusing on developing opportunities for young people to succeed in production agriculture.

“One out of six jobs is created because of agriculture,” he said. “Although only 1.4 percent of the population participates in production agriculture directly, our industry is responsible for producing 13 percent of the nation’s gross national product.”

He challenged those in agriculture to highlight the positive attributes of their profession. “We have what others all across America want: freedom and open spaces,” he said. “The grass is no longer greener on the other side. It is green right here.”

That is not to say that farmers and ranchers don’t have work to do. “There will be a number of topics to address in the coming year,” he said. “The NDSA will continue to be vigilant in monitoring government regulations concerning dust, odor, banks, competition in the livestock market and other important issues both nationally and here in North Dakota.”

Schmidt said he is looking forward to carrying forth the membership’s policies using a collective voice and the strong 80-plus-year tradition of the association.

He and his wife Serena raise commercial Red Angus and Simmental cattle and run a custom-feeding operation near Medina, ND, with their four children, Paige, Austin, Madelyn and Ava, and Schmidt’s parents, Ivan and Mary.

During the convention, members also elected Jason Zahn of Towner, ND, as its vice president. Zahn, his wife Jenny and their children, Shelby, Lexi and Wyatt, raise commercial Red Angus and Simmental cattle.

Cattle producers elected to serve one four-year term on the NDSA Board of Directors were: District 1 Director Keith E. Johnson of Sharon, ND; District 2 Director Curtis Brown of Montpelier, ND; District 3 Director Darrell Oswald, Jr., of Wing, ND; District 4 Director Jonathan Marohl of Solen, ND; District 5 Director Steve Brooks of Bowman, ND; and District 6 Director Doug Feiring of Powers Lake, ND. Randy Schmitt of Rugby, ND, was appointed to serve as a District 6 director to fill the vacancy left by the election of Zahn as vice president.

Others serving as NDSA directors include: District 1 directors: Kory Jorgenson of Rugby, ND; Jeff Schafer of New Rockford, ND; and Dan Rorvig of McVille, ND; District 2 directors: Bruce Hakanson of McLeod, ND; Gerry Vangsness of Walcott, ND; and Mark Wagner of Monango, ND; District 3 directors: Doug Bichler of Linton, ND; Jon DeKrey of Tappen, ND; and Steve Koester of Steele, ND; District 4 directors: Fred Helbling of Mandan, ND; Casey Maher of Morristown, SD; and Frank Melchior of Almont, ND; District 5 directors: Paige Burian of Manning, ND; Jason Leiseth of Arnegard, ND; and Winton Wold of Watford City, ND; and District 6 directors: Mark Giedd of Washburn, ND, and Gabe Thompson, Jr., of Antler, ND.