Fred Sorenson

Fred Sorenson

Legacy Award

Inducted 2024

The dictionary definition of cowboy is “a man, typically one on horseback, who herds and tends cattle.” Throughout his lifetime, Fred Sorenson embodied this definition of cowboy, himself, and he also supported other cowboys and the cowboy way of life.

He developed his horse and cowboy skills early on. He was born in 1943 when horses where still used as a means of transportation in Ross, North Dakota, where he grew up. His grandpa would ride his horse to see him as a baby, and Fred would ride his horse to elementary school. In the winter, a team of horses hooked to a sleigh would take him to school. Fred helped his father, Clarence, raise cattle. He also showed cattle in high school.

After high school, Fred bought the oldest established ranch in Mountrail County. The ranch began as Jameson’s EJ Horse Ranch in the White Earth Valley, while it was still the Dakota Territory. It was started by Edward S. Hall, a fellow inductee, and located four or five miles north of the site of Hall’s fur trading post. In 1885, yet another fellow inductee, Perfecto Fernandez, was the horse foreman and bronc buster for Jameson’s EJ Horse Ranch. Fernandez’ photo in the North Dakota Hall of Fame was taken at the ranch.

Fred married his rancher neighbor’s daughter, Kathleen Krieger, in 1969. Together, they raised their four children on the ranch. Fred involved his children in his cattle operation, teaching them the many life lessons that are involved in raising cattle.

Fred was in many organizations, lending his expertise in raising cattle to other cowboys. He was a charter member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He became a member of the Junior North Dakota Stockmen’s Association in high school, and he was a member throughout his life. One of his most significant contributions to cowboys was as a long-time member of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Brand Board.

In his retirement, Fred moved to New Mexico, where he was involved in owning race horses. He also became a board member of the North Dakota Hall of Fame, where he gave his time and money to supporting the legacy of other great cowboys.