Jack Dahl was born January 15, 1930, a son of Max and Eleanor (Reed) Dahl. He was raised near Chaffee, where his family farmed, raised beef cattle and operated a feedlot. Jack graduated from North Dakota State University, Fargo.
In 1952, he married Dottie Davis, purchased their current ranch at Gackle, and entered the U.S. Army. Stationed in Texas, Jack worked as a meat inspector for the Armed Forces and returned to the Gackle ranch in 1954. He began stocking Dahl Land & Cattle Company with Hereford share cows. Difficulty in finding performance-tested bulls prompted Jack to purchase performance-tested heifer calves from Nebraska.
Today, the Dahls have some irrigated land and raise livestock feed. Their cattle operation consists of purebreds of Red Angus, South Devon and Salers. Their commercial herd is mostly crossbreeds of these.
Jack initiated the Gackle Pen of Three Feeder Calf Show in 1965. Through the years, Dahl Land & Cattle Company has claimed numerous grand or reserve champion awards at that show. The family has held 33 bull sales, and the Dahls were among the first North Dakotans to have a feedlot and some of the first to implement performance and carcass testing.
Jack was active in the North Dakota and American Hereford associations; North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association, including serving as its first president; judged numerous county, state, regional and national cattle events; and served as a local 4-H and FFA judging coach. He was North Dakota Stockmen’s Association president in 1972-74 and National Cattlemen’s Association president in 1987.
In 1988, President Reagan appointed Jack chairman of ‘Farmer Mac,’ the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation which provides secondary mortgages for farm loans. Jack has been honored with many awards, such as North Dakota Man of the Year in Agriculture, 1980 NDSU Saddle & Sirloin Club Agriculturist of the Year and NDSU’s 2003 Harvest Bowl Agri-Business Award.
Jack and Dottie had three sons and one daughter. Jack passed away January 28, 2018.