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Robert W. Sharp

Robert Sharp
Robert W. Sharp

Eminent Farmer

County: Brown

Robert W. Sharp of Bath, South Dakota, has long been recognized for his innovative crop and livestock practices and his dedication to agriculture.

He and his wife Bev operate a diversified farming enterprise near Aberdeen. Their farm consists of 1,200 acres of alfalfa, corn, and barley. Their animal enterprises have included dairy and beef cattle, hogs, sheep, and horses. The Sharps have raised and shown a number of livestock champions.

In the past their beef enterprise maintained a 300 head cow-calf operation.

Bob has raised and sold foundation dairy cattle since 1942 into 12 states. The Sharp dairy operation consists of 220 cows milked continually, and is presently finishing all dairy steers. Their self-designed milking parlor has been featured in a national magazine.

The eminent farmer has been a breeder of registered Spotted Poland China hogs, and has sold hogs into eight states. His sheep enterprise features registered Hampshires.

His agricultural efforts have not stopped at the nation's borders. The Sharps have hosted five International Agricultural Trade delegations, and have worked to export U.S. dairy cattle. They have also hosted visitors from 13 nations, and have represented American Dairymen in a BBC documentary for European Commonwealth television.

Bob's efforts have literally shaped today's agriculture. He is one of the original organizers of the concept that went on to become the Federal Milk Marketing Order. He has been very active in the promotion of agricultural products.

He has worked earnestly for water development in South Dakota. Sharp is a board member and past chairman of the West Brown Irrigation District, a member of the Governor's Task Force on South Dakota Water Development, a member of the U.S. Department of the Interior Task Force on Water Development, and has frequently offered testimony before the Legislature and Congress.

A strong supporter of the 4-H program, he has hosted judging schools, sponsored awards and given 4-Hers financial support to assist them in starting a livestock enterprise of their own.

Perhaps the best summary of the contributions Bob Sharp has made to his community comes from Governor George Mickelson. "Bob Sharp exemplifies the South Dakota spirit of neighbor helping neighbor. He has a deep commitment to his family, his community, his occupation and his state and has actively served and volunteered in a variety of activities over the years. Bob is always there to lend a helping hand."

The Sharps have one son, Gary, of Bath, South Dakota; who is a part of the farming operation.