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South Dakota Cattle Farmer

Bob Johnson

“We have a passionate love for the cattle, and it’s enjoyable to be around them.”

Bob Johnson
Cattle Farmer

Name: Bob Johnson
Location: Corson, South Dakota
Years farming: I’ve been farming for more than 45 years, starting in high school. I’ve spent the last 10 years farming with my son. I also spent a few years in the Air National Guard.
My family: My wife, Sandy, and I have three grown boys. Quentin farms full time, and his wife Jaque is an educational counselor. Jarrod farms with family, and is the School & Public Lands Commissioner in Pierre. He and his wife Heidi, who is an RN, have two children, Clayton and Anna. And our youngest son is Justin, who is an RN at Sioux Falls VA Hospital.
How I came to be a farmer: I always enjoyed farming as a young adult and I had the opportunity to grow into the operation as my father got older. And now my son Quentin is very passionate about it as well.
The best thing about being a farmer: I get the opportunity to watch the baby calves grow, mature and have babies of their own. It is a great feeling knowing I have been successful at raising this animal I have cared for.
My personal philosophy on farming: Farming is fun. However it is not for everyone, as it is also hard work. The most important thing is to not get frustrated. No matter how bad the prices are, or if the weather won’t give you a break, it is important to stay positive. It’s also important to understand the value of your land and cattle. The better we care for our land and cattle, the better they will take care of us.

Beef Production in South Dakota and the United States
  • 1.75 million calves are born in South Dakota every year.
  • South Dakota ranks 6th in the nation in production of cattle and calves.
  • 50% of the farms in South Dakota grow cattle and calves.
  • 21% of South Dakota cash receipts came from cattle and calves in 2008.
  • There are an estimated 920 different breeds of cattle worldwide!
  • South Dakota ranks 5th nationally for total agricultural land with more than 23 million acres of pasture and 19 million acres of cropland.
  • Cattle and beef production represent the largest single segment of American agriculture – more farms are classified as beef cattle farms (35%) than any other type!
  • The future of the 1 million cattle farmers and ranchers in the U.S. depends on producing a safe, wholesome and nutritious food for consumers.
  • Cows spend six hours a day eating and each drinks about 30 gallons of water.
  • In 2008, meat animal production was responsible for more than $66 billion in added value to the U.S. economy.
  • U.S. consumers spent $76 billion in 2008 on great steaks, burgers and other beef products!
  • Cows were first domesticated 5,000 years ago and came to America with Christopher Columbus!


For more information about cattle farming in South Dakota, please visit www.agunited.org.

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