North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) members re-elected 36-year member and Arnegard, N.D., cattleman Jason Leiseth as the organization’s president at the NDSA’s 94th Annual Convention and Trade Show, “Welcome Home,” Sept. 30 in Watford City, N.D.
Leiseth operates a commercial Red Angus cow-calf operation and raises small grains and hay. Leiseth and his wife Peggy have three children, Erick (Fallon), Brady and Tyler, and two grandchildren, Banks and Lenni. Leiseth has served on the NDSA Resolutions Committee, NDSA Brand Board and the NDSA Feeding and Marketing Committee and was a District 5 director and vice president before assuming the NDSA’s top post.
In remarks during the opening business session, Leiseth welcomed members back to Watford City for the first time since 1930. He discussed what the NDSA was founded on and focuses on today. Leiseth noted what the “good” and “bad” going on in the cattle industry is in 2023. His remarks included record highs in the cattle market, strong demand for beef, the Bureau of Land Management lawsuit, the impending farm bill and the ongoing construction of the NDSA headquarters in Bismarck, N.D.
Randy Schmitt, a 20-year member from Rugby, N.D., was elected NDSA vice president. Schmitt and his wife Stacey have four children, Mattie, Lane, Grace and Ty, and one granddaughter, Rowyn. The Schmitt family runs a 350-head commercial cow-calf operation using Simmental and Red Angus genetics. Their calves are backgrounded and sold off the farm. In addition, they sell replacement females. The Schmitts raise all their own feed, including alfalfa, cover crops, grain corn and silage corn.
Schmitt serves as chairman of the Resolutions Committee and on the North Dakota Stockmen’s Foundation Board of Directors. Before being elected vice president, Schmitt was a District 6 director, served as chairman of the NDSA Ag Policy Committee and was a member of the NDSA Budget Committee. He also serves on the NDSA Building Committee.
Cliff Sanders of Clifford, N.D., was re-elected to his second four-year term in District 1. Sanders raises Longhorn-cross cattle and sells roping stock. He is an auctioneer and works as a fieldman for Lake Region Livestock in Devils Lake, N.D. He and his wife Ladina have one daughter, Cianah, and a grandson, Seth. Sanders is a nine-year NDSA member.
In District 2, Brian McDonald of Leonard, N.D., was re-elected to a second four-year term. The 30-year NDSA member operates a commercial Angus and SimAngus-cross cowherd. He backgrounds his calves and purchases feeder calves. He also has a diversified crop farm, raising rye, oats, barley, millet, canola, corn, soybeans and sunflowers. McDonald and his wife Cathy have three children, Ethan, Abby and Claire. McDonald serves as vice chairman of the NDSA’s Animal Health Committee.
Justin Deckert of Arena, N.D., was elected to his first four-year term in District 3. The 21-year NDSA member is a multi-generational seedstock provider. Deckert Simmental Ranch incorporates Simmental, Red Angus and SimAngus genetics for their annual production sale. They also custom graze a herd of commercial bred heifers. Deckert and his wife Carrie have three children, Jaden (Kelsey), Paige and Jaxon, and two granddaughters, Emree and Ainsley.
In District 4, Riley Schriefer of Golden Valey, N.D., was elected to his first four-year term. The nine-year NDSA member is the fourth generation co-owning and co-operating Schriefer Red Angus/Schriefer Ranch, LLC., with his parents, Marc and Jodi. It is a registered Red Angus and commercial cow-calf operation. They also farm forages and small grains. Schriefer participated in the NDSA’s 2023 Young Cattlemen’s Legislative Conference in February. Schriefer and his wife Cheyenne have two children, August and Adeline.
In District 5, Carmen Rambousek of Dickinson, N.D., was elected to his first four-year term. The 14-year NDSA member runs a cow-calf operation utilizing Simmental-cross and Red Angus cows with Charolais bulls. He raises all his own hay and some crops, such as oats and millet for feed. Rambousek and his wife, Lynette have two children, Lance (Madalyn) and Lynae (Kody), and five grandchildren.
Gary Martens of Ross, N.D., was re-elected to his second four-year term in District 6. The 22-year NDSA member has a commercial Angus cow-calf operation with an emphasis in heifer production. He raises hay for a cash crop, along with peas, soybeans, corn, wheat and flax. Martens serves on the NDSA Resolutions Committee and is the parliamentarian.
Other members of the NDSA Board of Directors and Executive Committee include the following: NDSA Immediate Past President Jeff Schafer of New Rockford, N.D.; District 1 Directors Erika Kenner of Leeds, N.D., Justin Maddock of Maddock, N.D., Bryan Ressler., of Cooperstown, N.D.; District 2 Directors Jeffrey Breker of Havana, N.D., Wade Dally of Montpelier, N.D., Jared Higgins of Woodworth, N.D.; District 3 Directors Craig Kemmet of Tappen, N.D., and Lowell Malard of Bismarck, N.D., and Carter Vander Wal of Pollock, S.D.; District 4 Directors Wayne Hepper of Fort Yates, N.D., Scott Katusof Watauga, S.D., and Casey Voigt of Beulah, N.D.; District 5 Directors Howdy Lawlar of Watford City, N.D., and Joe Schettlerof Killdeer, N.D., and Calli Thorne of Watford City, N.D.; and District 6 Directors Shane Anderson of Towner, N.D., Kevin Hansen of Ryder, N.D., and Chase Jacobson of Columbus, N.D.
NDSA officers serve up to two one-year terms. Directors serve up to two four-year terms.
NDSA members interested in running for a leadership position should notify their district’s respective Nominating Committee members. The Nominating Committees traditionally name their candidates in June.