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South Dakota Women in Ag recognizes top industry women during conference

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Deadwood, S.D. – Two women were honored at the South Dakota Women in Ag conference held recently in Deadwood, S.D. 

Nominations for these awards begin in the spring of the year. Past recipients and others involved in the ag industry are encouraged to nominate women whom they feel would qualify. 

South Dakota Women in Ag board members and their families are not eligible to nominate or be nominated, and the selection committee is made up of non-board members.

Ag Woman of the Year 

Kris Rausch of Gettysburg, S.D. was named the 2018 South Dakota Ag Woman of the Year, an award presented to a woman from S.D. who makes her living in agriculture and shares her love of the industry across generations.

Rausch and her husband Bob raise wheat, corn, sunflowers and soybeans on 5,000 acres in parts of Dewey, Potter and Sully counties. They also run 400 head of Angus cattle. 

Rausch is the accountant for their corporation and land company, and she also helps operate the business on a day-to-day basis. During spring planting, she supervises the calving, helps with crop harvest and drives machinery when needed.

Rausch has been a member of the Medicine Rock Cattlewomen for 40 years and has cooked the beef for the Gettysburg FFA Chapter awards banquet for 18 of those years. She has been a Potter County 4-H leader since 1999 and volunteers at the county fair in the hobby and horticulture divisions. She and her husband are members of the South Dakota Farm Bureau, and they served on the Young Farmers and Ranchers committee in the late 80s through the 90s.

The Rausches have two sons, Nick and A.J. and their families, who share in the planning but operate separately.

Young Gun of Ag

Nineteen-year-old Darian Roghair of Okaton, S.D. was named the 2018 South Dakota Young Gun of Ag, an award that recognizes a South Dakota woman, age 25 or younger, who embraces the ag industry and encourages others by example to consider a career in agriculture.

A refreshingly polite and confident young lady, Roghair lives with her parents, Brad and Shawna, and five younger sisters on the ranch near Okaton, S.D. Her family raises registered Black and Red Angus cattle in addition to running a commercial herd. 

Roghair was home schooled and always an eager student. At the age of 14, she learned to artificially inseminate at the Cottonwood Research Station near Cottonwood, S.D. She also ultrasounds cattle for pregnancy testing and is building her own business around this skill.

She enjoys selecting replacement heifers, as well as photographing and promoting of sale bulls each year. She said that her family strives to raise good mother cows – cows with maternal ability, feed efficiency, and above all, good temperaments.

Melissa Burke is a correspondent for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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