File:Bart Blum.jpg
Induction Category & YearGeneral 2009
Home TownReliance, SD
State Center, IA

   Bartine (Bart) Blum
Champion of Excellence


~An advocate for agriculture and rural living~

Bart Blum was born and raised in South Dakota, but that does not tell the whole story. His attachment and service to South Dakota may have started by chance but his continued dedication to the state has been a labor of love. Bart was born to Erwin and Louise Blum on November 6, 1936. He was the second child of this union, with an older sister Marlene and a then a younger brother, John.

Bart grew up on a ranch in Lyman County watching his parents struggle through the depression years. Those formative years were a big part of who the little boy would become in his adult life. He learned from his parents the importance of family, community and plain hard honest work.

As a youngster, he watched his mom care for the family growing vegetables and making their clothes. He watched as his dad worked the ranch and trained horses. Both parents committed themselves whole-heartily to their task and to their family.

Bart grew up in a family that worked hard while looking after their neighbors and each other. Bart observed early in life what sort of attitude would take South Dakota forward as his dad served in the South Dakota State Legislator, while his mom kept the home fires burning through Erwin’s time away in Pierre. His early education was a rural school in the district and then Bart went to High School in Chamberlain. He was a part of sporting teams and student government, which saw him serve other students as president of the student body his senior year. He was an honor student as well.

In 1955, he graduated from high school and then enrolled at South Dakota Sate College, today SDSU. He began ranching in the summer of 1955 and studied agriculture at college starting that fall. With a strong interest in animal husbandry, he acquired a bachelor’s degree in animal science. Extra curricular activities included livestock judging, meat judging, rodeo tem, Little I, and Ag club to name a few. He was manager of the Jackrabbit Stampede Rodeo in 1959 and was involved in student government.Following graduation, Bart returned to Lyman County where he and his brother John continued cattle ranching. After only a few years, they left the ranch, which was southwest of Oacoma and moved to Fort Hale Bottom in the spring of 1962. Blum Brothers Ranches was born in 1955 and is still located on Fort Hale Bottom in the breaks of the Missouri River 47 year later.

Bart married Patricia Ann Holst on June 3, 1962. Pat is a registered nurse who had come to work at Community Bailey Hospital from Presentation College in Aberdeen, SD. Pat, a native of Miles City, Montana, took to the South Dakota scenery, specifically Lyman County.

In 1964, their first daughter was born, Mary Patricia. A second daughter, Penelope Margaret, followed her in 1965. Both daughters graduated from Chamberlain High School and then both went on to attend and graduate from SDSU. Both of Bart and Pat’s daughters have gone on to ranch with their husbands. Mary Pat and her husband Ken Fawcett are at Colome with their two children – McKenzie, 15 and son Lane, 13. Pennie lives in Australia with her husband Paul Gill and their three children – son Ryan, 13, son Lachlan, 9 and daughter Samantha, 5.

Bart was keen to improve genetics in their early beef herd, introducing artificial insemination in 1965, and continuing the program until 1985. Through those years, different breeds were tried over the English breeds of Angus and Hereford. Interesting breeds included Charolais, Simmental, Maine Anjiou, Chiania and even Beefalo and Long Horn. At the conclusion of the AI program, the Angus bloodlines have tended to dominate the beef program.

Blum Brothers Ranches now runs 600 cow/calf pairs. In the winter months, there is an 800 head feedlot for young cattle. Bart and Pat along with John and his wife Ruth continue their hands on approach to running the business. John’s son Jay and his wife Amy have recently joined the business.Summer is crop-growing season in Lyman County, and the position near the river allows irrigated corn to grow as well as dry land crops and pasture. The irrigation project started in 1974.

One of Bart’s favorite things is to spend time with his family, teaching his grandchildren the important values of family, community and how to work and play smart.

There are many things Bart has been a part of through local, state and national levels.

Bart has made it a priority to support programs such as Steers for State, which is a program where beef producers donate a steer for South Dakota State University to provide for scholarship funds. He has also supported the SDSU rodeo team. He was appointed the Ag/Bio Council for development in 2006 at SDSU.

Both of Bart’s daughters were involved in the 4-H program. Bart helped by donating livestock for judging contests and volunteering to be a leader at the club level. He took a keen interest in 4-H Rodeo and helped by judging and donating stock for rodeos.

Bart has been a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Chamberlain for almost 50 years. He has served as president and treasurer of the congregation and has served on the church council for 15 years.

The Blum’s have enjoyed hosting many different people at their ranch. They have had international visitors from Australia, France, Belgium and Great Britain. They have had visitors from across the United States. They have traveled to many states in the United States and have traveled to Canada, Mexico and Australia.

Visitors over the years have included three groups of archeologists, a group from with-in South Dakota, a group from SDSU and a group from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.

In 1998, Bart served as President of the South Dakota Stockgrowers. He served on the Board of Directors form 1992 to 2003. He was also Vice President in 1996. He attended the Northern Plain Producers Conference, which was a joint meeting of Canadian and American farmers, and ranchers to which South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Darrel Curea appointed him. Bart also served on the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Board of Directors from 1998 to 2000. He was part of the cattle health and well being committee.

Bart has been involved in the South Dakota Rodeo Association since 1986. He has served as a director, contestant and as a sponsor during his involvement. He has completed in the old men’s breakaway roping and the team penning events. Bart has competed at 15 state finals rodeos. He currently pens with his daughter Mary Pat. In 2002, their team was third, in 2003, they were second and in 2006, their team was crowned state champions in the SDRA Team Penning. Bart is currently the oldest competing cowboy in the SDRA. Governor Mike Rounds appointed Bart to the South Dakota State Brand Board in 2003. Fellow board members elected him president in 2006 and he is currently serving his third three-year term on the board. He was also appointed to the South Dakota Animal Heath Board Committee in 2006. Jaycees Outstanding Young Farmer was bestowed on Bart in 1969. Other awards include Honorary State Farmer Degree, Future Farmers in 1986, South Dakota State University Friend of Beef with wife Pat in 1999 and South Dakota State University Eminent Farmer in 2006.

Bart has enjoyed his work as a rancher in South Dakota immensely. He has spent many hours atop one of his beloved Quarter Horses doing cattle work and checking fences. Bar has enjoyed being a part of South Dakota as much as anyone possibly could. South Dakota has been good to him and he has been good to South Dakota. Bart was born and raised in South Dakota, a beginning of chance that is lived out in a life with purpose. That purpose being one of service to god and family and the community of South Dakota.

Home Town (Reliance, SD)
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