The South Dakota Women in Ag named Megan Harkless of Oelrichs as their 2019 Ag Woman of the Year.
Awarded at the group’s annual Rural Women’s Conference in Deadwood, Harkless was surprised by the honor. She was nominated by rancher Avis Jennings for the commitment she has to her job at Fall River Feedyard and being involved in South Dakota agriculture.
“Megan represents SD Women in Agriculture by working endless hours with cattle, horses and people daily. Megan is a very positive role model to women to do what they have a passion for,” wrote Jennings in her nomination form.
Fall River Feedyard has seen a dramatic decrease in the amount of calf births they have had since Harkless became their ultrasound technician. She is on-call seven days a week to provide that service to the feedlot that brings in 40,000 cows a year.
“Megan is one of the most dedicated, hardworking individuals I know. She continually strives for perfection. She is always watching training videos, on the phone with her ultrasound machine supplier, and trying to improve her abilities as an ultrasound technician. In my eyes, Megan has done the impossible. She is doing what everyone said couldn’t be done. Megan has decreased the calves born in our feedlot by over 95 percent. To put a number to this, calves born before Megan started this project were approximately 5,000 per year, and calves born after she started ultrasounding are less than 200 so far this year. She is an amazing individual with a work ethic that is uncommon in any person today,” says Bart Krautschun, Fall River Feedyard Operations Manager.
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When she isn’t busy at the feedyard, you can find Harkless ranching alongside her husband, Matt and son, Tyce (3). She is a rep for Genex, also provides AI and ultrasound services for area ranchers and helps them to determine what genetics and protocols fit their operation. In addition, she serves as a salesperson for Ramona Warehouse feed, Smartlic/Horselic mineral tubs.
Her community involvement is large.
She coordinates the Fall River County Fair playday with 80 to 100 rodeo participants. She is an active member of the Fall River County Fair board and also runs the Crushin’ Cans Barrel Racing series during the summer at the Oelrichs Rodeo grounds.
“You can see by her nomination form that she is truly a woman in agriculture and someone who represents us all well,” said SD Women in Ag committee member Amy Pravecek during the awards presentation. “We are pleased to have her as our 2019 honoree.”
Find out more about South Dakota Women in Ag online at www.southdakotawomeninag.com.