Young Gun: South Dakota Women in Ag honors Darian Roghair
Already a 16-year veteran in the cattle business, young Darian Roghair was honored at the South Dakota Women in Ag conference earlier this month.
Roghair of Okaton, 19, is a homeschooled, high school graduate, self-employed business owner and rancher.
She is the oldest daughter of Brad and Shawna Roghair; Darian is their right hand helping with all the ranch work and with her five younger sisters. She also spent part of her summer as a counselor at Rainbow Bible Ranch, in Sturgis, South Dakota.
“I got my start in cattle when Dad gave me my first heifer when I was three. I still have her and hopefully she is now carrying her 14th calf. I kept heifers, bought some cows and built up my herd. When I was 14, I bought some registered heifers.” Roghair said. “I raise mostly Black Angus, but now have a few registered Red Angus cows. I raise a few bulls which I sell with my family’s bulls, in our annual sale.”
Roghair has a talent with equines as well; she enjoys training colts and helping horses reach their potential as solid ranch horses for the family.
“My Dad has been one of the biggest influences in my life. By watching and learning from him and working for him. He takes us with him when he helps neighbors and now some of them call just wanting us girls. He is teaching me ranch management and letting me do the record keeping on the computer for the registered herd. I really like the DNA testing and trying to figure out how to improve our herd.”
“Be Big!” is something all the Roghair girls have heard more than once from their dad. “But I have to jump a lot higher and yell louder than Dad does.” Roghair said.
Roghair helps her parents artificially inseminate cows, having gone through AI school when she was 14, and also assists when they flush and transfer embryos in their registered cows.
Roghair enjoyed watching the ultrasound technicians do work for the family, testing cows and recording carcass data on the bulls. Dan Hines from Martin, South Dakota, and Cole and Vicky Briggs of Midland, South Dakota taught her the trade. She traveled with the Briggs a little and in 2014 he helped her purchase an ultrasound machine. Roghair then hung out her shingle for preg-checking services. Things were a little slow at the start, the first two years she only pregnancy tested about 5,000 head of cattle. Her father told her to hang in there, and it worked. Last year alone she tested over 5,000 head. “The hardest part is having patience as the business slowly grows. I really like going to new places, seeing different set-ups, new cattle, it’s all very interesting to see how other ranchers work.” Roghair said. “I don’t travel very far just mostly in local area, the busy time is October through December and then again January till March testing fall calving cows.”
“For now I plan on working for my Dad on the ranch and seeing what the future holds. I hope to be able to spend my life ranching and working with cattle.” she said.
Darian Roghair has many talents and interests, including poetry.
“I once saw a cowboy,
weathered and old.
The lines in his face
hinted of stories untold.
His hands were rough and calloused,
yet strong despite his age.
His hat was beat up, and stained,
his clothes smelled like sage.
No Cinch or Levi’s,
Wranglers were his jeans.
Old, wore out Olathes,
not Justin’s or Anderson Beans.
A saddle, stained dark brown,
the rough out worn slick.
A canteen hung from the strings,
dented in from a kick.
The rope was stained black,
from rubber on the horn.
And in the cowhide chinks,
a couple holes were torn.
But he walked out steady,
even though it was slow.
And all his gray hairs,
I think wisdom they show.
He was giving some advice,
to a cowboy young and green.
Nodded his head,
and showed him a couple of things.
I couldn’t hear his words,
but I bet they were good.
and I thought of all the times,
old cowboys taught me what they could.
I wouldn’t be who I am,
if it wasn’t for the women and men,
Who took some of their time,
to teach and be a friend.
I sure do thank the Lord
for old cowboys and cowgirls.
their nuggets of wisdom,
are worth more than rubies and pearls.
So thank an old friend today,
who taught you something great.
But be sure to share it with
a kid who could use a break.
Cause it doesn’t end with you;
you’ve got to pass it on.
You don’t hang on to it,
you hand off the baton.
By doing it, you make sure
That later on in the world,
there’ll be another generation,
of good ole, cowboys and cowgirls.”
In a typically male dominated industry, there are a growing number of women supporting themselves and their families by working in agriculture. Some work alongside a spouse, or parents and others forge ahead by themselves.
South Dakota Women in Ag believe that women who are making a difference in the industry should be recognized. Every year they honor the South Dakota Ag Woman of the Year and the South Dakota Young Gun of Ag.
The goal of the annual convention and awards are to inform, educate and encourage women. Updates, information and nominations are posted online at http://www.SouthDakotaWomenInAg.com and on Facebook at South Dakota Women in Ag. Nominations for the awards are accepted from the public starting in the spring. Women are encouraged to nominate ladies they know who live in South Dakota and are involved in farming, ranching, ag-education or some facet of the agriculture industry. Forms are available online.
The conference date for 2019 is October 10th and 11th, at The Lodge in Deadwood, South Dakota. Women from other states are also welcome to attend. In addition to the awards and a chance to get to together with other like-minded women, there are vendors, speakers, and creative learning opportunities.
“The South Dakota Young Gun of Ag award is for young women under 25 for are involved in agriculture and making a difference. We want to bring attention to young ladies who are choosing agriculture as a career and as an encouragement to other young ladies.” said Kerry Frei, South Dakota Women in Ag committee member.
The awards are sponsored by Bertolotto Real Estate & Auction, Mackaben Ranches, First Interstate Bank of Sturgis and Cross Five Cattle Coolers, LLC. Winners also receive a complementary conference registration and a night’s lodging.
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