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Jeff Renner selected as Rancher of the Year

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) recognized St. Anthony, N.D., cattleman Jeff Renner as the Rancher of the Year at a special awards banquet during its annual convention in Bismarck, N.D., tonight. Jeff and his wife Angie and their family operate the Renner Ranch in Morton County.

Jeff’s great-grandmother, Margaretha, homesteaded the Renner Ranch south of St. Anthony in 1908. The ranch was comprised of primarily Hereford cattle at the time. The ranch has been passed down through the generations, from Jeff’s grandparents, Valentine, Sr., and Katarina, to Jeff’s parents, Nicodemus and Louise, and now Jeff and Angie.

“I was with my dad all the time when I was little,” said Jeff. When he was 14 years old, his father was killed in a tractor accident, leaving his mother, him and five younger siblings – the youngest being less than a year old – on the ranch. “We didn’t know if we would make it,” said Jeff. “But my mother didn’t want to leave the ranch and neither did I.”

Jeff married Angie Vetter in 1973. In 1995, they bought the ranch from Jeff’s mother, who was still actively involved in the operation. Today, living on the same quarter that was originally homesteaded, Renners have run a cow-calf operation for more than 50 years. Originally, they used Angus bulls on Hereford females for black baldies, and then transitioned into a solely commercial Angus herd. Additionally, the family backgrounds yearlings and raises oats, corn and hay for feed.

Right after high school, Jeff went to work at Kist Livestock Auction in Mandan, N.D. Jeff became a licensed and bonded livestock order buyer, a title which he has held for more than 30 years. Angie has also worked on the auction block at Kist Livestock Auction for more than 41 years.

Over time, Jeff has seen the industry change and evolve. “It has been extremely interesting to see the changes and improvements in the farming and ranching industries since I got my start,” said Jeff. “The genetics, technology and machinery are completely different.”

Renners got involved with the NDSA 41 years ago. “I joined the NDSA when I went to see if another location was available for my family’s brand that I could apply for,” explained Jeff. “At the moment, I didn’t realize how multi-faceted the association was. Ranchers don’t always have time to keep up on the legislature when it is in session, but we have peace of mind knowing the NDSA is working on behalf of cattle producers across the state. That’s why we need the NDSA.”

Since becoming a member, he has attended numerous conventions and Spring Roundups and participated in the NDSA Golf Scrambles at the convention and the Feeder Council Golf Classic.

Renner is a lifelong member of the St. Anthony Catholic Church and a 41-year member of the St. Anthony Verein Club, a Catholic men’s organization.

Jeff and Angie have four children, Valerie Frohlich, Jeffrey (Nyssa) Renner, Sheila (Scott) Ressler and Steph (Jessy) Meyer, and 13 grandchildren.

“The NDA’s Rancher of the Year Award celebrates people who live and work off the land, tend to their livestock and do not seek the spotlight, but deserve to be in it,” said Jeff Schafer, NDSA president and New Rockford, N.D., cattleman. “That is the case with Morton County’s Jeff Renner.”

–North Dakota Stockmen’s Association


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