NAME: Jerry Doan
FARM: Black Leg Ranch
LOCATION: McKenzie, North Dakota
YEARS NO-TILLING: 25
ACRES: 5,000 crops, 6,000 range
CROPS: Winter Wheat, Spring Wheat, Corn, Sunflowers, Soybeans, Forages, Cover crops and Cattle
The Doan Family. (l-r) Shanda Morgan, Jeremy Doan, Jerry Doan, Renae Doan, Jay Doan and Jayce Doan.
Some of the soils I helped farm as a child in southwestern North Dakota are probably somewhere in South Dakota now. I grew up in the era of wheat and summer fallow. A lot of the ground around here is very sandy and marginal. Did it ever blow when we were tilling. I remember as a kid getting sent with a disc or a drag to try and make it stop blowing. It seemed so futile, and it was.
At the time my family didn’t know any better. That’s just how things were done. We’d been doing them that way a long time.
My great grandfather came down from Canada and homesteaded what’s now Black Leg Ranch just east of the Missouri River near Bismarck in 1882. Who knows what it looked like then, but I imagine it was pretty similar to the abundant…