William P. Rausch, 73, Hoven, South Dakota, was honored in 1975 as Eminent Farmer by the Board of Regents and South Dakota State University.
The award was given for his achievements in dairying and in registered Hereford cattle, and for his deep commitment to his community’s welfare.
Today, partly through Rausch’s efforts, Hoven, a town of about 700, has a hospital and clinic with one resident and two visiting doctors, a locker and meat plant, and a cheese factory.
Rausch, who moved to Hoven from his 3,200 acre ranch during 1971 intending to retire, now travels the country performing public relations functions for the Rausch farms.
In 29 years of existence the Rausch Hereford Farms, now run by his sons, has seen a growth of 700 cows and 17 annual bull and female sales. The farm has become a showplace for both dairy and purebred Hereford herds.
In 1947 he put in one of South Dakota’s first milking parlors, expanding his dairy herd until his retirement about three years ago. Acquisition of more land permitted him to expand into purebred production in the late 1940’s. To increase his production capabilities until more land became available, he pioneered sprinkler irrigation in Potter County in the 1950’s.
In addition to a distinguished service award from the Hoven Service Club in 1972, Rausch has been honored as FFA Chapter Farmer, state chief ranger in the Forester organization, served on the Potter County Crop Improvement Association for 19 years, on the county livestock improvement association for many years and has been a county ASCS committee member. He was honored in 1973 with an engraved plaque by the South Dakota Hereford Association in recognition of his contributions to the Hereford breed and the beef industry. He served on the Potter County School Board from 1955 to 1972, on the Arena Township School Board for 12 years and on the Hoven Hospital Board for 15 years. He was an officer of the Farmers Cream Association for 35 years until it was reorganized into a private cheese corporation in 1962. He now serves on the board of directors of the cheese factory. He’s busy on Sundays too; he has been a choir member in his church for more than 60 years.
Bill Rausch and Evelyn Marie (Anderson) Garrity were married in 1963. That union brought together ten children from each family. There are now 18 surviving children, 85 grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.