Eminent Farmer Ernest B. Ham, Viewfield, South Dakota, was born at Farmingdale, South Dakota, November 13, 1896.
Ham was graduated from Rapid City High School in 1915. In 1916 he joined the National Guard and served overseas as a sergeant with the 147th Field Artillery for sixteen months. His army service, and a year at the School of Mines starting in the fall of 1919, were the only periods not spent in ranching.
On September 29, 1920, Ham married Nancy Hannum, daughter of A. R. Hannum, at Huron. He was in share partnership with his father Charles Ham until 1936. At present, sons Guy and Ross are on shares with their father.
The Ham ranch occupies 10, 050 acres of which 2, 400 acres are leased. About 280 commercial Herefords are wintered on the place and one line of bulls is used from eight to ten years.
In addition to Guy and Ross, the Hams have another son ant two daughters.
Ham served two terms as state president of the South Dakota Stockgrowers, has been on its executive board of directors for four years, and has been chairman of the stockgrowers legislature committee for nine years. He was president of the State Livestock Council in 1947-48, and is currently vice president and a member of the council’s brucellosis advisory committee. He has also served on the State Brand Board since 1938 and is a member of the state Farm Home administration board.
In the local area, Ham was a school board member for thirty years; a member of the Masonic Lodge since 1919; a board member of the Elk Creek Soil Conservation District for nine years; an elder of the First Presbyterian Church, Rapid City, South Dakota, since 1949, and on the board of directors of the Western Calf Show from its inception until recently.
He was given the Founder Centennial Award from Swift and Company for outstanding leadership in the livestock and meat industry. In 1951 he was honored at the Little International at State College.