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Black Leg Ranch Operators, Jay And Jerry Doan, To Speak At Hard Spring Wheat Show


February 5, 2020 | View PDF

Jay (left) and Jerry (right) Doan, Black Leg Ranch, will both have panels at the Hard Spring Wheat Show.

At 6:30 p.m., Jay and Jerry Doan, Black Leg Ranch operators, will be speaking at the Williston Hard Spring Wheat Show on Feb. 13. These featured speakers will be discussing the topics of diversifying agriculture and improving soil health.

Jerry will talk about, "Regenerating Soil Health While Improving the Bottom Line". Jerry is an active advocate for agriculture at the state and national level. He has demonstrated his passion for agriculture through lobbying and providing service in several different organizations. Jerry is currently the North Dakota Grazing Lands Coalition and Natural Resources Trust Board vice-chairman. He is a past chairman of the North Dakota Ag Coalition, North Dakota Beef Commission, North Dakota State Board of Ag Research and Education, and Rural Leadership ND.

Jay will be speaking about diversifying agriculture: "Thinking Outside the Fence". Jay is the 5th generation on Black Leg Ranch and is proud to carry on his family's ranching tradition while bringing a new approach to entrepreneurship. Prior to moving back to the ranch, Jay lived in Arizona and Texas, working in finance and marketing/brand development for Hensley Beverage Company and Anheuser-Busch. Jay considers his decision to work in the corporate world one of his best as it broadened his horizons and helped him think "outside the fence." It made him miss and appreciate life on the ranch and living in rural North Dakota. A decade after coming back to Black Leg Ranch, Jay is fully engaged in finding new ways to add value to the family business and bring more opportunities to his community. The Black Leg Ranch is home to Rolling Plains Adventures, a full-service hunting outfitter; Black Leg Events, an agri-tourism wedding and event venue; a craft microbrewery; and most recently, commercial meat sales.

In 2016, the Doan family was honored to receive the inaugural Aldo Leopold Conservation Award in recognition of their commitment to increasing rangeland plant and animal diversity. Jerry and his wife, Renae, have received numerous awards, including the Burleigh County Soil Health Award and the National Environmental Stewardship Award. In 2016, Farm Credit Services recognized Jerry as one of the top 100 Fresh Perspectives in Agriculture in the United States.

Jerry Doan will present, "Regenerating Soil Health While Improving the Bottom Line."

Jerry and Renae run the Black Leg Ranch, founded in 1882 by Jerry's great-grandfather, George Doan, along with their sons Jeremy, Jay, and Jayce in McKenzie, ND. The ranch encompasses 17,000 acres in central North Dakota, with approximately 14,000 acres of grazing land and 3,000 acres of cropland.

The ranch's primary focus has been reducing winter feed and input costs. The Doan family has installed more than 65 miles of high-tensile fence to create 90 pastures that are used for grazing cattle intensively. They move their cattle frequently to new grass because this mimics the behavior of bison that once roamed the North Dakota plains.

The Doan family strives to improve soil health and the natural resource base of the ranch so that it, in turn, supports abundant wildlife, healthy cattle, and diverse enterprises that provide a high quality of life for the Doans.

If you would like to learn more about the Black Leg Ranch, you can visit their website at


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