Raymond Johnson was born near Rapid City, South Dakota, in 1891. Mr. Johnson attended rural school in the Rapid City area and was sent to Vermont, “to get a New England polish,” to finish high school. He studied metallurgy at the South Dakota School of Mines, Rapid City, for three years before joining his father on the ranch. This joint operation continued until the death of his father in 1941.
The present Johnson ranch, to which they moved in 1910, is one and a half miles north of the original spread and is being threatened by the growth of the Rapid City area. The holdings extend over 2,500 acres in Pennington County. One-tenth of this is under irrigation to raise feed and hay crops. Mr. Johnson is an advocate of irrigation and has been chairman of the Rapid Valley Water Conservancy District.
The present beef cattle on the ranch are shorthorns, which Johnson’s father started in 1909. At one time they were successful with a show herd, but have since run the herd on a commercial basis. Their shorthorns have been shipped as far as the Argentine and Australia.
Johnson is a long time member of the American Farm Bureau Federation and has served on its state board. He raised sugar beets from 1917 to 1945 and acted as director for local, state, and national beet growers associations. He has served as a director of the South Dakota Crop Improvement Association and as a member of the seed certification board.
He is also interested in civic and community affairs, having served on his school board since before his marriage, as a member of the agricultural committee of the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, and in offices of the Congregational Church.
Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, nee Helen Crittenden, were married in 1915. They have three children, Herbert C., Mrs. Vinetta Rector, and Charles who is on the home farm with his father.