HISTORY OF THE VC KELLY RANCH
The Lazy >C brand was originally Grandfather Drew's brand used in 1894 by Albert Drew (1846-1909). When he was only 15 years of age, he enthusiastically rallied to President Lincoln's call for soldiers to suppress the rebellion enlisting in the sixty-fifty Illinois infantry, Company D. He was raised to the highest rank; Patty has his General's spurs. He moved to Adair County, Iowa, in 1865 engaging in ranching and farming. In 1869, he crossed the plains to Denver and in 1970 he married Mary Wilson. To that union, four girls and one boy were born. Patty's Grandmother was Sarah (Allie) Alice Drew (1875-1971). Albert was instrumental in developing Custer County, SD-- Drew Draw, a Fire Station, was named in his honor. He was an owner in American National Banks in Spearfish, SD.
In 1894, Allie married (Jack) John A. Kelly (1864-1942). He ranched on Rabbit Creek where Patty presently lives. Grandpa Drew started them in the horse, cattle, and sheep business. Jack sold horses in Chicago, sending a couple of box cars per year. Grandpa was a Public Relations man at the nearby Indian Reservation; sold Sure Stops (the forerunner to fire extinguishers) to assist in paying the bills and expanding the ranch. To this union, three boys were born.
Patty's father was the first born, Merle Patrick Kelly (1896-1985). In 1928 he married Cora Anna Viola Grout (1909-1985), an educator and help mate in ranch activities. To that union after seventeen years of marriage, Patty was born in 1943. Her father was married to Lucille Little producing her brother Lloyd John Kelly (1918-2004). When Lloyd returned from WWII he married Hilma Voss (1915-1968). They lived at the ranch. Even though Patty is technically their offspring's aunt, she felt more like a sister to the now Colleen Kelly Samuelson, Darlene Kelly, Kristie Foster, and Marlene Gustafson. Besides running horses and cattle, Patty's father produced many rodeos, was a Roman rider, loved a good cutting horse, and was very-very proud of his Hereford cattle. All of the older girls learned to work outside just like men. The girls all had tractors and mowing machines-- mowing in their bathing suits! They learned a certain amount of mechanical work, too, as Lloyd was an excellent mechanic. The girls rode horses with the best of them; helped with large gardens, canning and cooking! Family, health, and God were staples in their young lives. Patty's uncle was a minister so they had guidance even though they lived on the edge of the world. One of the biggest assets Patty had growing up was a family that thought they could do anything due to persistence, determination, mental abilities, and praying! All of the girls have college BA educations, some masters, and working on Dr.'s. Education in their upbringing was a "requirement!" Their father told them that they might someday lose earthly things, but an education you can not lose.
In 1985 after a double funeral for Patty's parents, she took total control of the family ranch. That was a tremendous responsibility that forever changed her life! She has been emerged in the ranch since that time. She has been lucky enough to have an operation that included horses, cattle, and sheep. Even though it is 2012, she still runs livestock in "big country" using herders, collie dogs, guard dogs, and horses to tend them. Each herder lives in a camper during the spring, summer, and fall having his own band of sheep. The ranch knife cuts the lambs pulling the testicles with their teeth. Patty's help comes on three years visas from Peru... her head person is on his third contract. Spanish is the main language understood. They manage to have a huge garden, grow their own feed for the animals, and have a lot of fun working together! The horses and dogs are all "Spanish" commanded... it is totally amazing to Patty how they understand. The international atmosphere has made them all grow in many positive ways. They live a great humble life in this fast-paced world. Since the death of her parents, the VC Kelly Ranch has been honored as a Century Farm; Patty has added land to the original ranch; has added miles of water line and wells; 52 miles of sheep fence in 2008-2009 which is only the south part of the place; has added ranch building and steel fencing -- her pride is the 100 x 200 insulated steel barn in 2008. Patty has also been an educator for over 25 years (double major in elementary education and art); worked for Northwestern Mutual for a decade earning many industry honors; was baptized into the Lord; and has worked for SBA filling out loan applications. She has bred and raised a horse that was able to take 4th in the 2007 World Show in Jr. Barrel Racing as well as other horses that have won many saddles in barrel racing, team penning, and steer jerking; has bred and raised other horses that have done well on the race track for monies won and AAAT speed. She has been involved with PRELUDE LLC to help put together what may turn out to be the largest wind turbine project in the USA; and has helped many abused women and children reestablish their lives. Patty has four children who are Gnene Fordyce, Gnelle Dauwen, Kelly Escott, and Gzelle (Buffy) Groves plus talented grand children -- Garet & Jozelle Fordyce; Taylor & Rayce Dauwen; Thane, Chance, & Duce Escott; Kaylin, Hugh, Harlan, & Kaycee Groves. Garet Fordyce and Carmen Hirsch are parents to great grand baby Alice Jean Fordyce. Jozelle Fordyce married BJ Humble, and that added great grand baby Statin, Teedin and Toarin!
Cutting edge management, perseverance, and enthusiasm are words that describe Patty's attitude. She is dedicated to a land ethic that helps to ensure that the land, water, and wildlife will flourish for future generations. The ranching operation is based upon a philosophy dedicated to improving rangeland, creating wildlife habitat, and energy conservation while building a productive and profitable sheep operation. She implemented rotational grazing systems, an extensive water system, and has increased hay land production. The grazing system has resulted in lower input costs, less stress on the land, and great grass variety as well as more pound of mutton/wool per animal to market. The erection of a state of ark 100 x 200 steel fully-insulated multi-purpose building and multiple shelters and extensive windbreaks have added to the efficiency of the operation. The ranch is involved in the 2012 Conservation Stewardship Program and the 2013 Tree Grant Program.
The Kelly Ranch has developed a new breed of ram by crossing the best genetics of Rambouillet with SAMM (South African Meat Merino) to produce highbred vigor while maintaining "white" top micron wool. These rams will be marketed in an eight-state area. These rams will increase the longevity, pounds, fast gain ability, and healthiness of your herd.
Assisting adults and children that have experienced harsh times in their lives due to VIOLENCE has been important to Patty. She has opened her home to them as well as the involvement in counseling, reconstructive procedures of body parts and personalities. She was honored as Mrs. South Dakota from the Farm Bureau when her children were small.
Thanks for visiting!
For more information, contact Patty at:
>C KELLY RANCH, INC.
Patty Ann Kelly
18635 Usta Rd.
Faith, SD 57626
>C Kelly Ranch Slideshow: