Texas-native Sheridan Visser and North Dakota-native Austin Visser are a young, happily-married cattle-ranching duo who settled in Reeder, North Dakota after Austin was given the opportunity to ranch on some leased land near Reeder, North Dakota.
Sheridan grew up on a hobby farm in Texas, and after meeting Austin, she moved to Reeder to join him and pursue their passion in ranching cattle. The Visser’s currently ranch about 160 head of production cattle, and 40 head of roping cattle, which consist of mostly Corriente cattle.
For many farmers, ranching in rural areas can be a challenge for building connections, and staying involved in farming politics. For the Visser’s, that’s where North Dakota Farm Bureau is a major asset. “We became involved with North Dakota Farm Bureau on the county level about three years ago,” says Sheridan. “It’s been a great way to connect with people in our local area–it’s a great way for farmers, ranchers, and producers to have a say in politics.”
One of the great things about North Dakota Farm Bureau is that members can present resolutions and discuss them at district and state meetings, and if said resolutions get voted in, they become a North Dakota Farm Bureau policy.
“There’s a lot of politics in the world, and
you can complain about it all day– but if you aren’t doing anything about it, your voice won’t be heard,” says Sheridan. “We really like North Dakota Farm Bureau because it gives you a voice and it helps represent our local area.”
Beyond politics, some of the additional benefits NDFB offers are great networking, as well as connecting farmers and ranchers all across the state. This enables farmers to learn about each other’s operations and issues, and build a stronger farming community overall.
“Everybody has something to offer,” says Sheridan. “I think especially in our area, everyone’s very neighborly; we help our neighbors out.” To the Visser’s, there’s power in not just knowing people but sharing resources as well to help you and your neighbor’s farms thrive, no matter what crops you grow or livestock you raise.
In addition to NDFB, Sheridan is also a Crop Insurance Agent with Farm Credit Services of Mandan. Farm Bureau and Farm Credit partner frequently on events, sponsorships, and work together to bring ag businesses, implement dealers, and other companies together. “I really appreciate how Farm Credit has given me the flexibility to be involved,” says Sheridan. “They really promote and support volunteers and getting involved in the community– Farm Credit’s been probably the best job anyone could ask for.”
To Austin, there’s a personal pride and legacy in starting a ranch from the ground up and building something to pass on to the next generation.
“I think the one thing we really get out of [ranching] is we both enjoy staying busy and working hard,” says Austin. “It’s very fulfilling when you can spend all night out checking cows, and you know that you made a difference saving something’s life and giving it a chance to grow and do well in life.”