Forever Young

Inside Dakota Ag

Lavern and Sue Koch are more than 70 years old and are still trying to learn how to improve their ranch.

Published on: November 7, 2011

A tip of the hat to Lavern and Sue Koch, New Underwood, S.D.

Both are in their 70s – but are 70 years young.


The couple took a trip to Argentina and Brazil last year hosted by South Dakota State University. The trip was part of their commitment to never stop learning about how to make their ranch better.


Over their 50+ years of marriage, they’ve attended as many pasture walks, grazing seminars and conferences as they could squeeze in their schedules, and they have done it all together


“This is a ‘we’ operation,” Lavern explains. They go to events together because they make decisions together and if they both have the same information it is easier to discuss and implement new ideas.


Attending events together “helps in making change work,” Lavern says.


What are other secrets to 50+ years of ranching together?


Enjoy what you are doing. “It’s been a really good life and we’ve had a lot of fun,” Sue says. “That’s important too. You can’t take anything too seriously.”


Freelancer Kindra Gordon, of Whitewood, S.D., interviewed the Lavern and Sue for an upcoming article in the Dakota Farmer.