Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives
Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives

Jerry Doan
Rancher and Owner, Black Leg Ranch

McKenzie, North Dakota
Farm Credit Affiliation
Farm Credit Services of Mandan
Jerry's Perspective

Jerry Doan has spent the majority of his life working to improve agriculture policy, strengthening farmer’s ability to be economically successful, and spreading a positive message about agriculture to consumers.

He served as the chair of the North Dakota Ag Coalition, working with the legislature to form the State Board of Agricultural Research and Education, which puts producers in a position to oversee North Dakota’s Agricultural Experiment Station and Extension Service programs. This unique structure has achieved broad success, building public support and receiving funding for a multi-million-dollar green house complex, an animal diagnostic lab and a new agriculture leadership program, among others. It has also generated financial support for 4-H, and helped identify solutions to create for economic stability for future generations in agriculture.

“I’ve always wanted to be an advocate for agriculture and show the consuming public the positive side of agriculture through our farming practices and our land stewardship,” Jerry says. “I like to work to implement policy in government that is beneficial to both consumers and producers, and have enjoyed years of lobbying for effective change.”

On his own fifth generation ranch, he’s tested processes that promote quality of life, profitability and sustainability. Through his agri-tourism operation, he’s taught hundreds of producers and consumers how to improve our natural resources. He’s developed a living classroom that demonstrates how improving soil health delivers more wholesome food. Wanting to demonstrate how livestock and wildlife can flourish together, as well as to diversify his operation, Jerry established Rolling Plains Adventures, a nationally recognized hunting and outfitting operation. Spreading his message even further, Jerry speaks all over the U.S. on intensive grazing and utilizing cover crops to build soil health, cut winter feed costs, and propagate wildlife.

“I believe the future of agriculture is in building our soil health back and in improving human health through healthy food. I’ve shown on my own operation how we can increase soil biology, organic matter, and improve our land and wildlife resources, and I want to have an impact with producers showing them how to work to improve their management allowing their systems to become sustainable.”

Jerry is a strong supporter for youth, including serving as a 4-H leader for the past 40 years. In one effort, his dedication to the next generation led him to solicit the state legislature for land to be used for a fairground, and then worked to build a 4-H building there that houses the local extension office.

“I’ve always been very optimistic about the future of agriculture, which is a very rewarding yet challenging industry,” Jerry says. Having encouraged his four children to be involved in the family operation, he adds, “I want to be able to turn our ranching operation over to the next generation in better shape than when I got it.”

Follow Black Leg Ranch on Facebook

Explore Top 100 Honorees Back to Honorees