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Odeen Rasmussen

Odeen Rasmusssen
Odeen Rasmussen

Eminent Farmer

County: Mellette

Odeen "Skee" Rasmussen is known for his love of the land and its resources, and his willingness to participate in organizations that improve agriculture and the state. Mr. Rasmussen graduated from South Dakota State University with a degree in Agricultural Economics. In 1951, he married Jan Berry and later moved to Mellette County to begin ranching on his wife's family ranch. In 1956, he became the sole manager of the "33 Ranch," which was homesteaded in 1914. Skee continued the sound range management practices begun by his father-in-law. The ranch started as a cow-calf operation, changed to large steer production, and finally to the cow-calf/yearling steer operation it is today. In 1996, son Dan and his wife Dawn, daughter Amy and husband Blake Lehman began managing the ranch, with Skee's continued involvement. Skee Rasmussen is known for his active participation in many organizations, including school board, Masonic Lodge, Lions Club International and the White River United Methodist Church. Currently, he is on the board of directors for the South Central Resource, Conservation and Development Council for Mellette, Jones, Todd and Tripp Counties. He serves as one of 30 members on the National Agricultural, Research, Education, Extension and Economics Advisory Board which channels funds allocated through the United States Farm Bill. He is the only active livestock producer on this board, and was appointed in 1996 by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman. He is also on the board of directors of the West River Lyman-Jones Rural Water System, a part of the Mini-Wiconi Water Project. Mr. Rasmussen was the president of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association in 1986-1988; and served on the finance committee for 10 years, and 4 years as committee chairman. He represented the Stockgrowers on the South Dakota Grasslands Coalition Board. Skee also served as a State Game, Fish and Parks Commissioner, and chaired the commission for one year. He also served on the Custer State Park committee and helped maintain it as one of South Dakota's jewels for state citizens and tourists. He has participated in the National Cattleman's Beef Association for several years and served on various committees within that organization. The South Dakota Soil Conservation Service has recognized him as Rangeman of the Year in 1972. Skee and his wife Jan have three children: Kris, Dan and Amy.