Jerry Effertz selected as Stockmen's Top Hand
FARGO, N.D. — Velva, N.D., cattleman Jerry Effertz received the North Dakota Stockmen's Association's highest honor, the Top Hand Award, at the annual convention in Fargo, N.D., last month. He joined an exclusive class of 20 cattle ranchers who have received this elite award over the organization's 88-year history.
"The Top Hand Award recognizes those individuals who have given unselfishly of themselves, demonstrated outstanding leadership and earned the highest esteem of friends and associates across the cattle industry," explained NDSA President Warren Zenker. "Jerry Effertz is one of those individuals who has always gone above and beyond for North Dakota and the nation's beef producers, and it is a privilege to publicly recognize him for his service."
Effertz, a third-generation producer, began farming and ranching in the 1970s. Through crossbreeding, artificial insemination, performance testing and genetic selection tools, he and his wife Norma developed a respected Limousin ranch, Effertz Black Butte Acres, that offers registered seedstock and backgrounded feeder calves. He was a founding member of the North Dakota Limousin Association. Committed to educating people about the cattle business and stewardship of the land, they also operate Black Butte Adventures, an agriculture and nature tourism destination that offers hiking and biking trails and farm tours.
Effertz and his wife have two daughters. Maria and her husband Mike Hanson have two children, Wyatt and Elizabeth, and live in Velva, N.D. Kayla and her husband Craig Kleven have two children, Paisley and Garrett, and live in Bismarck, N.D.
Effertz has helped advance the agricultural industry through his leadership, vision and service. A 35-year NDSA member, Effertz has been a thoughtful leader on various committees. He served on the NDSA's Seedstock Council for a decade, many of those years as chairman. During his tenure, the Seedstock Council initiated many innovative and long-lasting projects, such as the North Dakota Junior Beef Expo, the North Dakota Cattle Directory and several international promotion projects, including the development of a Spanish edition of the Cattle Directory to help facilitate cattle sales into the state of Chihuahua and beyond. What is today known as the North Dakota Junior Point Show Association was another of Effertz's ideas. His vision was to create an incentive for youth to become more actively involved in the exhibition and promotion of cattle and to support rural communities in enhancing their fairs, something he feels passionately about, dedicating many years also to the North Dakota State Fair.
An advocate of research and education, Effertz served in numerous roles to support agriculture in these arenas. He chaired the State Board of Agricultural Research and Education, which investigates and prioritizes the needs of agriculture and develops recommendations to address them. Effertz also chaired the North Dakota Beef Commission, stewarding producers' checkoff investment in research, education and promotion programs. He served on various committees and boards representing North Dakota on the national level through the Federation of State Beef Councils, as well as the U.S. Meat Export Federation. In 2011, he represented the U.S. beef industry on a trade mission to the Pacific Rim. He has served on the Beef Promotion and Operating Committee multiple terms, most recently as the Federation of State Beef Councils chairman.
Others have also recognized Effertz for his contributions. He was inducted into North Dakota's Agricultural Hall of Fame last year and previously received North Dakota State University's Outstanding Agriculturist Award and the Agri-International Stockman of the Year Award, among others.