The Roundup -

North Dakota Rancher Tony Stroh Recalls a Lifetime of Working with Cattle and Meeting New People

 

Tony Stroh

Tony Stroh was born on a farm in Dunn County in 1930 and moved to Gladstone, ND nine years later; when he was about thirteen years old, he and his family moved to Killdeer, ND, where he still lives.

"I've always liked cattle. When I was a kid I was raised in town and I always wanted to raise cattle. I became involved in 4-H and showed Hereford cattle," said Stroh. "Herefords were popular back in those days and they have paid for more ranches than any other breed."

When he was in high school, he started working for ranchers, gaining experience and learning a variety of ways to do things on a ranch.

"I met a lot of nice, honest people that were good to work with," Stroh recalled, and after 65 years of ranching, meeting new people is still what he enjoys most.

In 1950, Stroh bought 1,200 acres of wheat field and ten head of registered cattle and that was the beginning of Stroh Herefords. He spent the early years 'building the place up' and he and his wife Leona were married in late 1950; their house was up on skids for the first year of their marriage, which Stroh recalls being quite cold. In 1951 they got electricity. Stroh had to build out buildings, plant trees, and dig wells and dams; Leona hauled water to the house for eight years before they had running water.

It isn't surprising that Stroh instilled a hard work ethic into his children and grandchildren. Some of his favorite memories are of helping his kids through 4-H and being a 4-H leader. Two of Stroh's daughters were crowned Hereford Queens and he remembers taking them to meetings, state fairs, and cattle sales. He was awarded North Dakota Hereford Breeder of the Year in 2005 and received a 4-H Leader award for the highest selling bull at the State Association Sale. He has served on the Dunn County ASC Board as a board member and as chairman, he was on the North Dakota Hereford Association Board, the Killdeer Area Development Association, the FFA Advisory Committee, and has sold bulls in five states and Mexico.

Over the years Stroh purchased land from neighbors and today, between what he owns and what he rents, Stroh Herefords is operated on 3,000 acres and throughout the years he has watched change and progress in ranching.

Leona and Tony Stroh were married in 1950, the same year they began ranching.

"In the registered Hereford business, performance records and EPDS have changed a lot. There is a lot more computers and technology than when I started. When I was a kid they were using horses to cultivate corn and mow and stack hay and today it's all done with machinery," he said.

Tony and Leona Stroh are now retired and living at the nursing home in Killdeer near family and friends. Tony Stroh is still involved in the business and still enjoys spending time visiting with people. Ranching is a lifestyle that has been taken up by their sons Mike and Dave who are both involved in the cattle industry. Mike, his wife Dawn, and sons Lucas and Matthew ranch north of Manning; Dave and his wife Deb ranch north of Killdeer with their kids living in Fargo and Mandan. This year will be Stroh Herefords 26th Annual Production Sale and third three-generation sale, with Tony, Mike, and Matt Stroh all marketing cattle.

When asked what advice he would give after 65 years of ranching, Stroh replied, "Do what you like to do and you will always do good."

 

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