Hello, my name is Rick Marlatt and I am very excited to be serving as the new President of the Sandhills Cattle Association. I have really enjoyed my time on the Sandhills Cattle Association board of directors thus far getting to meet new people and working to bring valuable services and programs to the membership. There are many great programs and educational opportunities that the Association puts on throughout the year and it is my hope that we can continue to increase the membership’s participation in these opportunities and make your membership as valuable as possible. In future newsletters, I will continue to highlight some of these programs but with this letter, I would like to introduce and give a little background on myself.
Being a board member on the Sandhills Cattle Association has been a “full circle” type of experience for me as I was actually a recipient of a SCA scholarship when I graduated from Gordon-Rushville High School. I grew up on my family’s registered Angus operation, TK Angus, near Gordon, Nebraska. After graduating from high school, I attended Chadron State College as a member of the Rural Health Opportunities Program, which afforded me an early acceptance into pharmacy school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. During my time at Chadron, I was lucky to meet my future wife Jennifer in an organic chemistry class of all places. Jenn and I were married in the summer of 2015 when I graduated from pharmacy school, and we moved back to Valentine where I started as the pharmacy director at Cherry County hospital. Admittedly, this timeline seems to veer away from cattle production. When I was growing up, my dad Tim always told me that I could come back to the ranch but that I needed to go out and experience other things. Looking back, I think that could have meant “go work for some other rancher” and not “go to school for 7 years and enter a different profession entirely.” However, the time that I spent in Omaha for pharmacy school, and the subsequent time spent at the hospital showed me that my true passion lay in livestock production and allowed me the opportunity to “retire” a few years ago and come back to work with my family on the ranch full time.
Today, my wife Jenn and I along with our 4-year-old Gavin and 7-month-old Charlotte couldn’t be happier to be living in the Sandhills around cattle and family. We currently live on the ranch near Wood Lake, Nebraska which happens to be about 7 miles as the crow flies from the ranch that my great-great-grandfather would have homesteaded, and where my dad grew up.
Moving forward through my term this next year, it is my goal for the Sandhills Cattle Association to continue to build value for its membership through marketing, education, and scholarship opportunities that will help keep our way of life in the Sandhills viable and prosperous for the next generation. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions on ways that the Association can provide value to you.