I was born and raised on my parents ranch in Harding County located in the far Northwest corner of South Dakota. I attended my first eight years of formal schooling in a one-room schoolhouse known to the community simply as “The Govert School.” There were no buses, no hot meals, and the one field trip per year was sponsored by the parents. I still remember learning my multiplication tables from my parents on the twelve mile trip to and from school.
I attended and graduated from Spearfish High School in 1979. Despite the long distance from the family ranch, I decided to attend Tarrant County Junior College in Ft Worth, Texas studying computer language. Avery and I were married in 1982 and moved back to the family ranch after the death of his father in 1984. I continued my education through Oglala Lakota College by taking course work in Lakota Culture, Lakota History, and Lakota Language. In 1995, I attended Texas Property and Casualty Insurance School in Arlington, Texas where I received my degree in adjusting.
Avery and I have been married for over 34 years. We have two children, Bud 31 and Mary Jo 28. Bud ranches with his father and also helps mentor local high school boys. Bud graduated from Black Hills State University and has his masters through Concordia University of Irvine, Ca. Our daughter Mary Jo is employed with Bennett County Schools. Mary Jo graduated from Black Hills State University has her masters through the University of South Dakota and is presently working on her doctorate. Mary Jo is married to Jason Fairhead of Merriman, Ne. where they operate a cow/calf operation. On May 2, 2016 we were blessed with our first grandaughterr, Joesphine Helen Fairhead. She is the light of our life.
Avery and I both come from ranch families and are lifelong ranchers. We have a strong understanding of the trials and tribulations that come with being involved in agriculture. We also own and operate Kyle Grocery that services the Medicine Root District on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. We have had the unique opportunity to see firsthand both sides of the food chain, production and marketing.