view archived news articles




Posted 09/12/2018


For immediate release:

Sept. 15, 2018


For more information contact:

Dan Rorvig, NDSA president: (701) 797-7338 •

Julie Ellingson, NDSA executive vice president: (701) 223-2522 •

Emily Bendish, NDSA communications director: (701) 223-2522 •


Arlyn and Sourey Schmidt chosen as Stockmen’s Rancher of the Year


The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) recognized 46-year members and long-time ranchers Arlyn and Sourey Schmidt of the 7N Ranch as the Rancher of the Year at a special awards banquet during its annual convention in Bismarck, N.D., tonight.


Arlyn has been ranching his whole life, other than a brief pause when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1960. He and his wife Sourey, who he met while he was deployed in Iran, ranch south of Crystal Springs, N.D. The operation began as a commercial Hereford ranch. Then in 1970, the Schmidts started to artificially inseminate and introduce Simmental cattle into their herd. Over the years, they have worked their way to raising 50 percent purebred Simmental and 50 percent purebred Red Angus cattle after introducing Red Angus into the herd in the 1990s. They have been in the seedstock business ever since introducing Simmental, and they market their cattle through an annual production sale on the ranch each March.


Sourey, who grew up in Tehran, Iran, had a lot to adapt to when moving to the ranch. Not only did she have to adapt to living in America, but also to living the ranching lifestyle. Sourey and Arlyn have four children, Douglas, Patricia, Joseph and Zheila, along with 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Their oldest son, Douglas, is in partnership with Arlyn and Sourey.


Long-time NDSA member and the Schmidt’s’ banker Gerald Horner has known the family for more than 20 years. His son has also purchased bulls from the Schmidts, so he has seen firsthand the quality of the animals they produce. “Not only do they do a good job raising quality cattle, they are also good people,” Horner reflected. “Arlyn has committed his life to the ranching industry, and his quality cattle show it.”


The Schmidts have been involved in the NDSA for many years, and Arlyn was a director for eight years, serving from 1990 to 1998. While a director, Arlyn helped develop the idea for the Rancher of the Year Award. He never expected he would someday be receiving that award, he said.


The couple is active in their community. Arlyn has been a member of the American Legion, the Medina Lions Club, the Medina School Board, the Stutsman County Weed Board, the Stutsman County Water Resource Board, the Kidder County FSA Committee and the church council. He is also a 48-year American Simmental Association member and a past director of the North Dakota Simmental Association.