Igniting Legendary Leaders


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Ryan Taylor

  Ryan Taylor
  United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA)
  State Director for North Dakota




Ryan Taylor was appointed by the President to serve as State Director for USDA Rural Development in North Dakota. In this role, he manages three federal agencies with a loan portfolio of over $4 billion.

Taylor is a lifelong North Dakotan, businessman, rancher, author and former state senator. He is a graduate of North Dakota State University (NDSU) with two bachelor degrees in Agricultural Economics and Mass Communications, along with a minor in Animal & Range Sciences.

Following his college graduation, Taylor returned home and became the fourth-generation to manage and operate his family’s ranch. Today, the ranch consists of 3,200 acres of rangeland and hay meadows and more than 200 commercial Angus cow/calf pairs. In 2010, the Taylor Ranch was inducted into the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame.

In 1995, Taylor began working with the startup Northern Plains Premium Beef Cooperative. Serving as the cooperative’s communications director, he led outreach efforts to more than 3,200 cattle producers in seven states and two Canadian provinces and helped raise $10 million in pledges of producer equity for the venture.

Prior to that role, Taylor started his Sandhill Communications business just after finishing college, providing communication and marketing services for agricultural clientele across the western U.S. and Canada. He also embarked on a successful career in veterinary pharmaceutical sales for Fort Dodge Animal Health, a division of Wyeth (now part of Pfizer). While with Fort Dodge, Taylor grew sales from $1 million to $2.47 million in his first two years as a territory manager.

Taylor is widely known for his syndicated column, “Cowboy Logic,” which had a circulation of more than 200,000 in multiple major agricultural newspapers. He has also authored three books of his writings with more than 30,000 copies in print.

Taylor is a former minority leader of the North Dakota Senate. Elected to the state senate three times, he served for ten years from 2002 to 2012. His committee work centered on education and agriculture, but he also served on numerous interim committees including the energy development committee as the ‘Bakken Boom’ began its ascent. 

In 2013, Taylor was named a leadership fellow of the Bush Foundation, St. Paul, Minn. As a Bush Fellow, he chose to study the oil development policies and practices of Norway. 

Taylor serves on the board of Metigoshe Ministries. He and his wife, Nikki, have two sons, age 11 and 9, and a daughter, age 7.

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