Meet Jared Knock

It takes one to know one, and Jared Knock knows a diverse, sustainable farm when he sees one. That’s because Jared has more than 25 years of experience as part-owner of a livestock and crop farm in South Dakota where he and his wife Kati, his parents, and neighbor raise commercial cattle, crops and forages.

Jared is also part owner of Dakota Vision Ag, a company he and Kati began to offer quality seed and livestock genetics for local producers. They offer their customers a gamut of Pioneer and Millborn seeds as well as ABS Global beef semen. Through Dakota Ag Vision, Jared and Kati focus on four priorities — distribution, connection, education and progress. Not only do they want to provide their customers with a quality product, but they also want to equip them with knowledge and a community atmosphere.

“Everything I do, the core of who I am, is involved in animal agriculture. It’s what my family does for work, what we do for a hobby, it’s what we talk about. We live in a very dense cow-calf livestock production area,” Jared explained. “When I go to a school event, we talk cows. When I go to church, we talk about cows. Almost every person in my immediate and extended family has cattle, so it is very embedded in my life.”

Because of this lifestyle and mindset and his deep-rooted love for animal agriculture, it came as a shock to Jared when he went to college and found a whole group of people who believe animal agriculture and conventional agriculture are ethically wrong, bad for the environment, and poor for human health. In light of this, two years ago Jared co-founded a company called AgSpire, a service team to help agriculturalists advance their economic and environmental sustainability goals with solutions optimizing resiliency and renewal of natural resources.

“I started doing a lot of my own research, and I found compelling evidence pointing out that beef and red meat has better nutritional value than we thought,” he explained. “But if you look at the greatest threat to the future of beef consumption, I think it is the negative perception of how beef is raised and its impact on the environment.”

The purpose of AgSpire is to monitor and research companies and businesses who are implementing techniques like increasing biodiversity, increasing soil health, utilizing cover crops and rotational grazing.

“We provide technical assistance to farms and ranches to get win-win outcomes for them to access incentives and premiums that allow them to develop their farm or ranch in a resilient, robust manner,” he explained.

This spring, Jared applied and was selected to give a TEDx talk in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, about resource allocation and the difference between linear and circular systems.

“Even in a rural place like South Dakota, it was a young, urban audience, and I was the only ag presenter that night, but the comments afterwards were from people who appreciated learning more about natural resources in farming and ranching,” Jared said.

During his 18-minute speech, Jared discussed what he believes are the four methods to gather available resources — mining, wells, farming or fishing. Of these, farming and fishing are regenerative methods to gain resources because they can be replenished.

“Farms and ranches today are far more sustainable than anything coming from a linear system,” he added.

Through his TEDx, Jared reminded consumers that beef production is balanced from a nutritional standpoint and an ecological standpoint.

“I tell consumers to make every effort to buy things from renewable sources, and those sources are farmers and ranchers primarily,” Jared said. “Look at which systems, like beef production, are cyclical in nature and have a closed-loop cycle.”

In addition to speaking, ranching, and contributing to multiple businesses, Jared is proud to be on the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation board. In June 2023, the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation celebrated its 10th year of the Prime Time Gala & Concert where money is raised for Feeding South Dakota. Through this program, beef is purchased and distributed to food insecure individuals and families in all 66 counties of South Dakota. Jared is also an active member of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association and NCBA.

For Jared, his passions are cattle, cattle, and talking about cattle. By raising his own herd, helping others improve their genetics, and speaking on beef’s nutrition and environmental value, Jared has contributed to our industry in numerous ways.

Jared concluded, “I want to see a future where the solutions that agriculture can provide are invested in and utilized to their full potential.”