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Posted 02/12/2019

For immediate release
Feb. 12, 2019
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 •
North Dakota Stockmen’s Association hosts
17th Young Cattlemen’s Legislative Conference
The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) hosted nine young cattlemen and women during the 17th Young Cattlemen’s Legislative Conference (YCLC) Feb. 6-7 in Bismarck, N.D. This year’s participants included the following: Karissa Daws of Michigan, N.D.; Troy and Jessica Brown of Montpelier, N.D.; Kip and Kristina Haadem of Tappen, N.D.; Hayden and Megan Kessler of Beulah, N.D.; Sarah Gessner of Ryder, N.D.; and Wyatt Hansen of Ryder, N.D.
YCLC delegates are selected by the NDSA Board of Directors for their leadership potential and involvement in the North Dakota beef industry.
“The YCLC gives young producers in our state an opportunity to engage in the North Dakota legislative process,” said Dan Rorvig, NDSA president, a McVille, N.D., cow-calf producer. “Many of those who have attended this conference in the past have become involved leaders in our industry and state.”
YCLC delegates participated in several agency visits and legislative activities, including meetings with Governor Doug Burgum and Lieutenant Governor Brent Sanford; Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner; House Agriculture Committee Chairman Dennis Johnson; and Senate Agriculture Committee Vice Chairman Janne Myrdal. Participants also participated in several committee hearings, House and Senate floor sessions and a discussion about how bills are drafted with North Dakota Legislative Counsel Staff Attorney Dustin Assel. The group also learned more about the role of the NDSA in the public policy-making process and the makeup of the 89-year-old trade association.
Karissa Daws of Michigan, N.D., who represented the NDSA’s District 1, runs Grassy Meadow Ranch, comprised of a 100-head registered Red Angus cowherd with her husband David. The couple also has two cooperator herds, one in South Dakota and one in Minnesota for their embryo transfer program. Their annual production sale is in January. Additionally, the couple has a wholesale and retail beef market where they sell home-raised Feeder Calf Certification Program certified Red Angus beef. David and Karissa raise canola, wheat, soybeans and feedstuffs for their cowherd. The couple has three children ­­­­— Graysen, 6; Leightyn, 4; and Tristyn 2.
Troy and Jessica Brown of Montpelier, N.D., represented NDSA District 2. Troy is a fourth-generation farmer and rancher. Troy, his wife Jessica, and their two kids, Jayden and Emily, are on the family farm. They have a registered Charolais herd and an annual production sale the fourth Tuesday of every March. They also run a commercial herd of Angus-cross cattle and a heifer development program with Red-Angus-cross heifers.
Kip and Kristina Haadem of Tappen, N.D., represented District 3. As fifth-generation operators, Kip and Kristina raise more than 300 head of commercial Angus cattle, grains and forage. Kip and Kristina have been on the farm with Kip’s grandma for seven-and-a-half years. They have two children, Kimber, almost 3, and Trent, 4 months.
Hayden and Megan Kessler of Beulah, N.D., represented NDSA’s District 4. The Kesslers live south of Beulah with their new baby boy Gustav. Hayden also works off the ranch at Dakota Westmoreland. Megan is a stay-at-home mom, ranch wife and farrier. The Kessler Ranch consists of Hayden, Megan, Hayden’s parents Keith and Deanna and his brother Stephen. Together, they run a cow-calf operation. Their main group of cattle are red F1 baldies that get bred to home-raised Charolais bulls. They also have a select group of purebred Charolais used to raise bulls and replacement heifers.
Wyatt Hansen and his fiancé Sarah Gessner of Ryder, N.D., represented District 6. Wyatt Sarah will be the fifth generation of farmers and ranchers to join Hansen Simmental Ranch. Wyatt works alongside­ his dad Kevin and grandpa Kermitt on their ranch located near Ryder. They raise registered Simmental and SimAngus cattle. Additionally, the family has its annual Dakota Xpress Bull Sale every third Friday in February with the Staigle family.
The NDSA represents 3,000 cattle-ranching families and aims to unite, protect, promote, educate and serve the state’s livestock industry.