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Posted 09/29/2021

For immediate release: Sept. 29, 2021
For more information, contact:

Jeff Schafer, NDSA president: (701) 653-5690 •

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

Elizabeth Neshem, NDSA communications director: (701) 223-2522 •


North Dakota Stockmen’s Association taps officers and directors Schafer, Leiseth re-elected as organizational leaders


North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) members tapped 32-year member and New Rockford, N.D., cattleman Jeff Schafer for a second term as the organization’s president at the NDSA’s 92nd Annual Convention & Trade Show, “Getting it Done in ‘21,” Sept. 25 in Fargo, N.D.


Schafer’s Rhein Valley Farm is a sixth-generation operation, with three of those generations currently operating the diversified farm and ranch. It is comprised of an Angus cow-calf operation and a backgrounding and finishing feedlot for owned and purchased cattle. Schafer and his family also raise corn, soybeans, pinto beans and seed oats and are full-service feed dealers. Schafer and his wife Leann have three children, Chelsey (Kyle) Erdmann, Colten and Corey. Schafer served on the NDSA Budget Committee and Brand Board and was a District 1 director before ascending to the NDSA’s top post.


In remarks during the opening business session, he discussed challenges facing the industry, ranging from border-to-border drought to price discovery; explained the NDSA’s efforts to help producers through those challenges; and highlighted some of the organization’s achievements over the past year. Among them: passage of a significant piece of property rights legislation, the crack-down on cattle rustling and a record-setting membership. 


Jason Leiseth, a 34-year member from Arnegard, N.D., was re-elected NDSA vice president at the convention. Leiseth and his wife Peggy have three children, Erik (Fallon), Brady and Tyler. Leiseth operates a commercial Red Angus cow-calf operation and raises small grains and hay. Before being elected vice president for his first term last year, Leiseth was a District 5 director, served on the NDSA Brand Board and was the chairman of the NDSA Feeding and Marketing Committee.


At the convention, NDSA members also elected or re-elected six directors to represent their respective districts. 


In District 1, Erika Kenner of Leeds, N.D., was re-elected to a second four-year term. The 13-year NDSA member is a third-generation producer on her family’s Simmental, SimAngus and Red Angus seedstock operation and diversified farm. Kenner has served on the NDSA Nominating Committee and currently chairs its Research and Education Committee. She is married to husband Tyler Lannoye.


Wade Dally of Montpelier, N.D., was elected to a first four-year term in District 2. He runs a commercial cow-calf and Angus seedstock operation and raises his own feed. Dally is a 10-year NDSA member. He has served on the NDSA Nominating Committee and has one daughter, Bristol. Dally replaces Brian Amundson of Jamestown, N.D., who completed two terms and was no longer eligible for re-election.


In District 3, Craig Kemmet of Tappen, N.D., was re-elected to a second four-year term. The 32-year NDSA member manages a cow-calf operation, which focuses on Simmental, Red Angus and SimAngus genetics. He also backgrounds his own and custom cattle, markets bred heifers and raises potatoes, soybeans, corn and alfalfa. He has served on the NDSA Nominating Committee and Rancher of the Year Committee, is the vice chairman of the NDSA Environmental Issues Committee and has represented the NDSA on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Kemmet and his wife Leslie have nine children – Kandace, Alan, Kristine, Mary, Alex, Laurel, Kay, Hudson and Hayden. 


Wayne Hepper of Fort Yates, N.D., was elected to a first four-year term in District 4. A seven-year NDSA member, Hepper runs a cow-calf operation utilizing Angus and Limousin genetics. He also backgrounds cattle and farms. He was recognized by the North American Limousin Foundation as its Commercial Producer of the Year. Hepper has two daughters, Emma and Meg. Hepper replaces Jamie Hauge of Carson, N.D., who completed two terms and was no longer eligible for re-election.


In District 5, Joe Schettler of Killdeer, N.D., was re-elected to a second four-year term. The 22-year NDSA member represents the fourth generation on his family’s Red Angus cow-calf operation. He serves on the NDSA Brand Board and as the vice chairman of the Brand and Theft Committee and previously served on the NDSA Nominating Committee. He also represents landowners as a citizen member on the Legislative Interim Natural Resources Committee. Schettler and his wife Darci have two children, Taylen and Ali. 


In District 6, Kevin Hansen of Ryder, N.D., was re-elected to a second four-year term. The 25-year NDSA member and his wife Liz run Hansen Simmental Ranch, a diversified crop and livestock operation, including alfalfa, corn, wheat, oats, barley, canola and millet, as well as Simmental and SimAngus cattle. They have five children – Wyatt, Hadlie, Nathan, Lexie and Morgan. Hansen has served on the NDSA Nominating Committee. 


Other members of the NDSA Board of Directors and Executive Committee include the following: NDSA Immediate Past President Dan Rorvig of McVille, N.D.; District 1 Directors Justin Maddock of Maddock, N.D., Levi Rue of Sheyenne, N.D., and Cliff Sanders, Jr., of Clifford, N.D.; District 2 Directors Jeffrey Breker of Havana, N.D., Jared Higgins of Woodworth, N.D., and Brian McDonald of Leonard, N.D.; District 3 Directors Tim Erbele of Streeter, N.D., Lowell Malard of Bismarck, N.D., and Carter Vander Wal of Pollock, S.D.; District 4 Directors Joel Opp of Hebron, N.D., Scott Katus of Watauga, S.D., and Casey Voigt of Beulah, N.D.; District 5 Directors Pete Bestof Watford City, N.D., Howdy Lawlar of Watford City, N.D., and Calli Thorne of Watford City, N.D.; and District 6 Directors Shane Anderson of Towner, N.D., Dennis Jacobson of Wildrose, N.D., and Gary Martens of Ross, 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.