2019-2020 Board of Directors
Back Row (left to right): Brock Moreland, Rick Marlatt, Matt Blackford, Dean Churchill, Ryan Adamson,
Jeremy Cast, Kurt Arganbright and Bradley Cardinal
Front Row (left to right): Derek Schwanebeck, Bonnie Downing, Ken Pelster, Craig O'Kief
Missing from Picture: Ryan Sexson, Bree DeNaeyer, Eric Ravenscroft, Darian Fuelberth and Gavin Harsh
2019-2020 Executive Board
President: Matt Blackford - Brownlee, Nebraska (Left)
Vice President: Dean Churchill - Valentine, Nebraska (Middle-Right)
Treasurer: Ryan Adamson - Nenzel, Nebraska (Right)
Past President: Bonnie Downing - Dunning, Nebraska (Middle-Left)
2019-2020 Board of Directors
TERMS EXPIRE 2020
Bonnie Downing, Dunning: Bonnie Downing and her husband Tim operate Downing Ranch, LLC, 12 miles southwest of Dunning, Nebraska in the northeast corner of Logan County. Their cow/calf operation consists of running Simmental X Angus cow/calf pairs on wet hay meadows and sandhills pasture as well as some custom grazing on their ranch. Bonnie earned her Bachelors Degree of Arts in Business and Management from Chadron State College. When not golfing, cooking or appraising real estate, Bonnie enjoys following their 16-year-old daughter, Taylor, and their 13-year-old son, Brett, around to all their different activities. Bonnie is an active member of the following organizations: Cornerstone Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Stapleton, Nebraska Grazing Coalition, Nebraska Women in Agriculture, Nebraska Chapter of America Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. Currently, Bonnie serves on the following SCA committee(s): Billing & ByLaws, Education, Finance and Scholarship.
Ken Pelster, Bartlett
Ryan Sexson, Kilgore: Ryan was raised on a ranch north of Whitman, attended a country school until 7th grade where he then started at Hyannis High School. Ryan went to LCCC in Cheyenne, Wyo and learned to be a diesel mechanic. He worked a couple of years then returned home to work on ranches. Jamie and Ryan were married in December of 2003 and have three children. Rylie is 8, James is 6 and Addie is 4. The Sexson family leased a place last November, south of Nenzel where they run their own cows as well as custom calving some heifers and cows. Ryan provides care for some cattle south of Cody through the summer and day work quite a lot. The Sexson family hopes to continue to expand their operation and someday purchase their own ranch. Currently, Ryan serves on the following SCA committee(s): Scholarship
Dean Churchill, Valentine: Dean Churchill is a 3rd generation rancher in Cherry County Nebraska and manages Rocking Arrow Ranch along with his parents Bob and Janet Grabher. Dean is a 1980 graduate of South Dakota State University with a Masters Degree in Reproductive Physiology. Since 1980 Dean has been involved in the family operation that runs a commercial cowherd and holds an annual Charolais bull sale the 2nd Tuesday of April at Valentine Livestock. Dean has two daughters Kelli who is an attorney in Omaha and Kayla and husband Joey who farms and Kayla works for the University of Nebraska (Rural Futures Institute). They have three sons (Lane, Samuel, and Liam) who live at Diller, Nebraska.
Dean has served on various boards and committees. Was a founding member of Nebr. Cattlemens Classic, Heart City Bull Bash, served 10 years on Valentine Community Schools as board member, National Charolais Association board of director, Nebraska Charolais Association board of directors and past president.
Dean has been a long time member of Sandhills Cattle Association and is a strong believer in the association’s purpose of promoting Sandhills cattle and assisting in educating the membership thru seminars and social events.
Ryan Adamson, Nenzel: Ryan Adamson is a 5th generation Sandhills rancher running a commercial angus based cow herd with his father, Marvin, & brother, Jeff. Ryan attended Northeast Community College in Norfolk where he studied Secondary Education & was part of the Hawks basketball team. After two years he decided to return home & pursue his true passion, ranching. Ryan & his wife, Sara, reside on his family's ranch south of Nenzel in Cherry County. In his spare time he enjoys fishing & everything Huskers.
TERMS EXPIRE 2021
Bree Denaeyer, Brownlee: Bree ranches with her husband, Martin and their 3 kids on the Flying D ranch near Brownlee in south central Cherry county. They run a commercial red angus cow calf operation on the land that Martin’s family homesteaded in 1886. Bree was raised north of Bismarck, North Dakota and earned her B.S. in Animal and Range Sciences from NDSU in Fargo. She later attended graduate school studying Ruminant Nutrition at UNL. In past years, Martin and Bree have had cattle in the feeding contests and enjoyed various meetings and events conducted by the SCA. Currently, Bree serves on the following SCA committee(s): Billing & ByLaws, Convention and Education.
Eric Ravenscroft, Nenzel: Eric Ravenscroft has a family owned cow/calf and yearling ranch in the middle of Cherry County. They also have pure bred Red Angus herd and sell two year old bulls that have been raised on the ranch. He graduated from Valentine High School and attended Chadron State for one year. Eric and Shannon have four children. Eric was involved in many rodeo, but now he is hauling his kids to High School rodeos and to Junior Rodeos. Currently, Eric serves on the following SCA committee(s): EP&C
Matt Blackford, Brownlee: Matt and his wife Kristina will be married 10 years in August. They have two children Katelyn who is 2 and a ½ years old and William who is 6 months. Matt and Kristina moved back to the family ranch in June of 2014 where Matt is working for his dad. Matt has a bachelor of science in Animal Science from the University of Wyoming. He is glad to have the opportunity to raise his children in the Sandhills. Currently, Matt serves on the following SCA committee(s): Convention, EP&C and Scholarship.
Rick Marlatt, Wood Lake: Rick Marlatt grew up on his family’s purebred Angus operation, TK Angus, in Gordon, Nebraska and graduated from Gordon/Rushville High School. Rick then attended Chadron State College for 3 years and was accepted into Pharmacy school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center where he graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2015. In the summer of 2015 Rick and his wife Jennifer moved back to Wood Lake, where his parents had relocated their operation to, and Rick took a job as the director of pharmacy at Cherry County Hospital. Since then, Rick has been able to purchase his own registered females and has been heavily involved in the day to day operations at TK Angus which holds an annual bull sale the first Monday of December and also recently expanded their offering by adding another annual sale on the first Wednesday of April. Rick enjoys AI’ing cows, looking at good cattle, and in the little amount of spare time that he has between his two responsibilities he likes to golf and spend time with family and friends.
Kurt Arganbright, Valentine: Kurt Dam Arganbright is an attorney practicing in Nebraska and South Dakota. Kurt also manages the family ranch. The Dam Ranch, a commercial cow-calf operation. Kurt and his wife, Danielle, have two young boys, Kase and Kade, both of whom love the ranch. Kurt attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and earned his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics in 2006 and then went on to earn a Juris Doctor from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2010. Kurt serves on the Valentine FFA Alumni Association, is the Chairman of the City of Valentine Planning Commission, and the University of Nebraska– College of Law Dean’s Advisory Board. When he isn’t working, Kurt enjoys spending time with his boys, hunting, fishing or golfing, although with a 5 and 4 year old, it’s mostly refereeing.
Bradley Cardinal, Valentine: Bradley is a Livestock Production Specialist with Purina Animal Nutrition and has been assigned to the Sandhills area since 2015. His passion for this area first evolved with an entry-level position at the Gale Cattle Company, south of Nenzel, NE. During his time there, he met and married Alana Cardinal from Valentine. Alana has been teaching in Springview, NE, for the past 4 years and will be starting her first year at Valentine High School this fall. Bradley is a business management graduated of the University of Minnesota. Bradley’s current community involvement includes service as Bull Bash board member, Valentine volunteer firefighter, and President of the Fellowship Committee at Grace Lutheran in Valentine. When Bradley isn’t serving area ranchers through his work or volunteering for the community, he enjoys hunting and spending time with his wife.
Derek Schwanebeck, Ellsworth: Derek is an owner/operator of Cornerstone Grazing and Sandhills Red Angus. Through his knowledge of conventional ranching, he has changed his management from a focus on cattle production, which he is good at, to maximizing dollars generated per acre. Schwanebecks harvest as much solar energy as the can, as efficiently as the can, and sell it for as much as they can. Derek has reduced costs like machinery fuel and feed. He has also reallocated labor hours to more profitable enterprises.
Faith in God, and family are Derek’s number one priority. He has been married to his wife, Lesa since 1990 and they have five children. Derek is the leader for the Hyannis Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle and enjoys motivational and informative speaking to all ages, whenever the opportunity arises. Whenever the weather permits, Derek also enjoys flying as he is a private pilot.
TERMS EXPIRE 2022
Brock Moreland, Merriman: Brock is a fifth generation Nebraska Sandhills cattle producer. He has been ranching with his parents, Steve and Carol full-time since 2009 after graduating from Sheridan College, Wyoming with an associate degree in Agricultural Business. Would you believe that the cows have never asked for his credentials? Brock has been married seven years to his dear wife Chelsie, and they have a four-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter. It is Brock’s greatest wish that his children can someday value his family’s cattle ranching heritage and Sandhills traditions the way that he has, which is he serves as a board member for the Sandhills Cattle Association. Brock believes in this organization and its promotion of Sandhills cattle and the communities through seminars, networking, and social events. Currently, Brock serves on the following SCA committee(s): Ranch Tour
Jeremy Cast, Ansley: Jeremy and his wife Brooke run a Simangus cow/calf operation between Ansley and Miller. Together they have three children Payton, 11, Avery, 8, and Preston, who is five. Jeremy is also herdsman at Triangle J Ranch, a Simmental and Angus ranch where they have an annual production sale in January. Jeremy graduated from Southeast Community College in Beatrice with a degree in Ag Business Management. Jeremy enjoys attending Husker football games and spending time with his family. Currently, Jeremy serves on the following SCA committee(s): Convention and EP&C.
Darian Fuelberth, Stuart: Darian was born and raised and currently lives in Stuart, Nebraska with his wife, Wendi and family. Together Darian & Wendi have 5 kids, 4 boys and 1 girl. They have a ranch North of Stuart where they raise around 350 head of cattle. Darian is the third generation to work the ranch and he also has a small trucking company, Fuelberth Trucking, LLC that hauls hay and livestock.
Gavin Harsh, Bartley: Gavin Harsh is the 5th generation to return back to the family farm and ranch. Gavin resides in southwest Nebraska where he calls Bartley home. Harsh graduated from the University of Nebraska in 2017 while majoring in Animal Science and minored in Ag Economics. While at UNL he served as an officer for Block and Bridle, Collegiate Cattlemen and also judged on the 2016 Livestock Judging Team.
Since his return, his energy has been devoted to promoting Dusty Prairie Ranch and selling Amerifax Cattle in their spring annual production sale. Cattle is his true passion. in his opinion, genetics is one of the most intriguing aspects of life. His goal as a breeder is how he can make the next generation of livestock better. He and his dad have worked several years to build a cowherd that offers commercial cattlemen more opportunities for profitability. In addition, with his return he has reevaluated their own operation decisions and is trying to improve their mineral program, grazing management, and overall soil fertility.
Gavin is also involved in other organizations in his local community. He serves on the McCook Community Foundation, Bartley Young Guns and attends several county fairs to teach the next generation proper livestock evaluation. Now stepping onto the Sandhills Cattle Association board, Harsh is looking to bring energy and new ideas to SCA. He wants to bring members more benefit of a SCA membership and look to improve producers operations through education.