Giving Hearts Day

Giving Hearts Day

More than $17,000 raised on Giving Hearts Day in 2024

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Foundation has a full heart after generous donors helped the charity raise more than $17,000 on Giving Hearts Day on Feb. 8. This was the 501(c)3’s third year of participation in Giving Hearts Day, a 24-hour giving event for more than 600 non-profits across North Dakota and Minnesota.


Giving Hearts Day donations to the North Dakota Stockmen’s Foundation came from 104 donors from across four states. The foundation for the Giving Hearts Day campaign was laid by seven match donation pledges, totaling $3,500. Match donors included Gene and Tammy Heinrich of Medina; Scott and Heather Katus of Watauga, S.D.; Ricky and Shirlene Lawlar and Jodee and Howdy Lawlar of Watford City; Jason and Peggy Leiseth of Arnegard; Gary Martens of Ross; Jeff and Leann Schafer of New Rockford; and Randy and Stacey Schmitt of Rugby.


“The Stockmen’s Foundation is grateful for all the support it received on Giving Hearts Day,” said Jeff Schafer, North Dakota Stockmen’s Foundation president. “These gifts make a profound difference in our industry.”


One example came in 2022, when the Foundation launched the Hope After Haley Disaster Relief Fund to support producers who suffered catastrophic losses in the April 2022 storms. The non-profit organization delivered a quarter-million dollars in direct relief to those hardest hit. 


The Foundation has also made a profound difference in the lives of students. Jayden Miller of Carson was a scholarship recipient in 2023. The Bismarck State College freshman is pursuing a degree in the medical field. “On top of pursuing a degree in healthcare, I hope to continue to build on the genetic background of the high-quality Angus/Charolais cattle that my family has been working on for years,” Miller said. “I purchased five bred heifers and currently have 10 of my own cows. I look forward to expanding my herd in the coming years.”


Olivia Throener of Cogswell is another student who has benefited from a North Dakota Stockmen’s Foundation scholarship. She is a Tomorrow’s Top Hands Beef Leadership graduate, studying livestock production management and commodity merchandising at Lake Area Technical College. Upon graduation, she plans to join her parents, Kevin and Ronda, and her three brothers on their diversified operation. “Thanks to the North Dakota Stockmen’s Foundation and its donors who are supporting students like me pursue our dreams,” she said.


Generous donors have helped the Stockmen’s Foundation make significant contributions since it was established in 2008. Among its work, the organization has:


• Provided 105 college students studying for beef industry and related careers with scholarships;


• Delivered more than three-quarter-million dollars in direct relief to producers who were devastated by relentless floods, blizzards, wildfire and drought;


• Provided curriculum to agriculturists to assist them with the generational transfer of their operations;


• Established a research fund to help keep the industry on the cutting edge with science and technology;


• Provided high-quality North Dakota beef to hungry families in the state; and


• Provided mental health resources to farmers and ranchers navigating challenging times.


 To learn more about the Foundation’s charitable mission or its Building Campaign, visit


Giving Hearts Day was started by the Dakota Medical Foundation in 2008. Since then, more than $194 million has been raised for charitable missions. The 2024 event generated $29.2 million from nearly 41,000 donors.