Darrell Bishop and his wife, Diane, started their cattle operation near Hermosa, South Dakota, with one bred milk cow, a horse, and 80 acres of land. Today, the operation has grown to 150 cow-calf pairs and more than 2500 acres of land.
Mr. Bishop was a leader in developing a production alliance with a cattle feeder who purchases his calf crop. Through this alliance, Mr. Bishop follows the performance of the calves through slaughter and carcass grading. By monitoring the complete life cycle of the animals, he can more effectively cull poor performers. He has also been helpful to other ranchers in the retained-ownership program.
Mr. Bishop is also a professional engineer and has served as a consultant for the Pine Ridge Lakota Sioux Tribe, helping the tribe develop more manageable and productive range units through cross fencing, water development, and rotational grazing. Mr. Bishop initiated the Custer County Bootstraps group in Hermosa, which involves 12 other local ranchers and has provided significant benefits to the ranchers of the area.
Mr. Bishop is an active supporter of the Cooperative Extension Service, serving as a volunteer 4-H leader for 15 years. He has been a member of the State Extension Advisory Board and has served on several 4-H and Extension committees that helped develop a more effective county Extension program. Darrell and Diane currently sponsor a 4-H award at the county level.
As treasurer and past president of the Custer County Fair Board, Mr. Bishop has donated many hours preparing for the annual fair. He also serves as a director for the Western Junior Livestock Show, which has grown to be one of the premiere events for 4-H youth in the Great Plains region. Mr. Bishop is the president of the board of directors of the area's Farmers Cooperative. In 1996, the local Masonic Lodge named Darrell "Citizen of the Year."
Darrell and his wife have two children, Jodi and Alan, and four grandchildren.