Richard C. Tokach honored as Top Hand
The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) awarded St. Anthony, N.D., rancher Richard C. Tokach with the organization’s most prestigious award, the Top Hand Award, at a special awards banquet during its annual convention in Bismarck, N.D., tonight.
“The Top Hand Award recognizes those individuals who have given unselfishly of themselves, demonstrated outstanding leadership and earned the highest esteem of friends and associates across the cattle industry,” explained NDSA Immediate Past President Dan Rorvig, a McVille, N.D., cattleman. “Richard C. Tokach is one of those individuals who has always gone above and beyond for North Dakota’s and the nation’s beef producers, and it is a privilege to publicly recognize him for his service.”
Tokach’s great-grandfather, Stephan Tokach, homesteaded the Tokach Angus Ranch east of St. Anthony in 1898. Tokach’s grandfather, Matt, purchased the homestead from Stephan in 1939. In 1955, Richard’s parents, Richard “Dick” M. and Theresa Tokach, purchased the family’s first registered Angus heifer. Tokaches continued to develop the family’s Angus herd, selling bulls private treaty for a number of years. In 1975, they hosted their first production sale at Kist Livestock Auction in Mandan, N.D., a tradition that is still held annually the third Monday in February by Richard, his wife Kathy and their family.
Richard and his wife Kathy have three children. Their oldest daughter, Rebecca, and her husband Alex Acheson reside in Elk Point, S.D. Rebecca works for Tyson Foods and Alex is the North Central region field representative for the American Hereford Association. They have two children, Cooper and Emmett. Tokaches’ son Ben and his wife Natalie work alongside Richard and Kathy in operating Tokach Angus Ranch. In addition, Natalie is a territory manager for Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica. They have two boys, Bentley and Briar. Their youngest daughter, Renae, and her husband Tanner Gress reside in Mandan. Renae is the North Dakota State University Extension agent for Morton County and Tanner is an agronomist for CHS.
A 38-year NDSA member, Tokach became active after he attended the Young Cattlemen’s Conference on behalf of the NDSA. Tokach served on the NDSA Board of Directors and a two-year term as vice president before being tapped as NDSA president from 1998 to 2000. He dedicated many years to the NDSA and continues to remain involved, currently serving on the North Dakota Stockmen’s Foundation Board of Directors, as well as the Tomorrow’s Top Hands Beef Leadership Summit Committee.
The Top Hand Award is the NDSA’s highest honor. In the organization’s 91 years, only 21 Top Hand Awards have been bestowed.
–North Dakota Stockmen’s Association
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Many students around the state of North Dakota will soon have the chance to try beef produced in their own backyard.