Leading Ladies of Ag: Debbie Anderson
Debbie Anderson has had a passion for agriculture for as long as she can remember. Growing up in Watford, North Dakota, Anderson has many fond memories of her family farm where they grew wheat and raised dairy cattle.
Today Anderson and her husband, Donald, live on a cow-calf ranch in Montana between the towns of Glendive and Wibaux.
“We have somewhere close to 8,000 acres and from that we run between 300 and 350 head of commercial cattle,” Anderson said. “We run our black Angus cows with Hereford bulls to make F1 baldies and crossbred steers.”
Despite the picturesque scenery, the weather and land in Montana aren’t usually a promising combination for a second cutting of hay.
“Three years ago we put up about 1,500 to 1,600 bales and last year we only got 600 bales,” Anderson said. “We were pretty dry. We typically get one cutting and our season typically starts the end of June, first of July.”
Although she may not get to make hay as much as she’d like every year, Anderson enjoys her time running the baler. Which is good, because she’s been running it for a long time.
“We have a Vermeer Super M baler now,” Anderson said. “Before that we ran a M and before that we ran an XL, L, 604J and even before that we ran a 504I.”
Anderson said she’s proud to have run six different models of Vermeer balers over the years, but there is one that stands out in her mind.
“The Super M is my favorite so far,” Anderson said. “It is so simple and I love that Bale ExpertTM monitor that has the moisture tester.”
Debbie’s experience with Vermeer goes beyond just running balers.
“Before we moved to Montana four years ago, we lived in North Dakota. In 1984 we became a Vermeer farmer-rancher dealer to keep ends afloat. Since then, we continued to grow our business and add short lines,” Debbie said.
In 2011, Debbie’s son, Ben, and his wife, Janelle, took over the dealership at the original ranch in North Dakota. Debbie says that this transition has allowed her and Donald to spend more time together at their ranch where they enjoy visits from their kids and grandkids.