About Amy

I am a proud Black Hills native, attempting to raise two little heathens (my term for my redneck kids) and cattle simultaneously alongside my partner in crime whose disposition sometimes resembles that of Woodrow F. Call from Lonesome Dove, and with the help of a supposed cow dog that’s terrible at bluffing cows. We live near Pringle; famous for things like elk, the Hitchrail, hunting, or the Pringle Poacher Car. Thanks for stopping by for a visit! Company’s rare around here.

So what kind of topics does a ranch wife in rural South Dakota write about? Probably more than you’d care to know if you hang around here too long. I tell on our cows and the disasters they often create; ranch life’s everyday challenges, and occasionally sneak in tales about our town.

I expertly describe what it’s like to be married to a ranch wife—to put words in my husband’s mouth, I’m sure he’d say an adventure would sum it up nicely.

I regularly disclose my faults, quirks, and slanted perspective on our ranch life with lawyer-like skill but I also illustrate stories reflecting the personality of my rancher-husband and our cowkids.

You won’t find photos from places like amusement parks posted here (just ours—we live in one). Things of exotic nature? Bizarre? Unusual? Yes. We rarely vacation because we live in a vacation destination—the Black Hills is a tourist mecca. That, and our cows can’t be trusted to be left home alone if we’re gone too long. But I love our home on the range. It provides seasons of infinite variety, 100% all-natural and organic beauty and my beloved clothesline.

I’m a coffee fiend, like a cold beer, open windows on summer nights, hearing our neighboring bull elk bugle and getting up a little earlier than early. I savor the scents of line-dried laundry, fresh cut aspen, leather, sweaty horses, camp fire smoke, and pine trees. The dress code at my job includes well-worn boots, tough looking jeans, t-shirts, and hooded sweatshirts. I refuse to call them by their sissy name, “hoodies.”

I can no longer claim that I don’t have any awards for my writings. I can only say that I still don’t have a journalism degree. I was awarded first place for Best Local General Interest Column for weekly papers under 1,151 with the Lyman County Herald newspaper in Presho, SD at the South Dakota 2010 Better Newspapers Contest and Best Local Humor Column with the Lyman County Herald also for 2012.

I enjoy combining ranch work with my penchant for writing and sharing it with readers. (A Ranchwife’s Slant has been published in these newspapers). Your comments are welcomed: amy@amykirk.com. You can also visit my website to read some of my archived columns.

I also guest speak–cow responsibilities permitting.

I combine my passion for agriculture, the outdoors, and writing in my weekly humor column about ranching with my husband and kids called A Ranchwife’s Slant. In my talk, A Ranchwife’s Slant: Connecting with People Through Agriculture and Humor, I share how my search for entertaining topics to write about for my column I inadvertently learned that finding humor in unpleasant circumstances can be a coping tool for dealing with the daily challenges of ranch life as well as industry-wide challenges in agriculture.

It has been an honor to guest speak for the following organizations and events:


Rock County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, Luverne, MN


South Dakota Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference, Spearfish, SD

South Dakota Independent Insurors, Oacoma, SD

Presho Historical Society, Presho, SD

DakotaFest Women’s Brunch, Mitchell, SD

Wyoming Women in Ag, Casper, WY


Lyman County Farm Bureau Annual Dinner, Presho, SD

Darrell’s Oil Customer Appreciation Dinner, Wessington Springs, SD

Yankton Area Ag Gala, Yankton, SD

For guest speaking inquiries, please call me at 605.673.2063 or email me at amy@amykirk.com to arrange a phone conversation to further discuss my guest speaking considerations for your next event.

Reader comments are welcome at amy@amykirk.com. You can also follow A Ranchwife’s Slant on Facebook and @RanchwifesSlant on Twitter.

Welcome! Have a seat and make yourself at home here.

Photo credit: 2012 © Harry Whitney

20 responses to “About Amy”

  1. Pam Reis Avatar
    Pam Reis

    My husband and I ranch by Reliance, SD. Our children are grown now with the last two in college. We are very fortunate they were able to attend a one-room country school. While they were in high school I loved going to parent teacher conferences because the teachers always commented on how polite, respectful, and well behaved they were. The country school closed after my youngest son’s third grade. That was okay because he was the only child in his grade and he really needed competition and his people-person personality needed to be in a regular classroom in town school 25 miles away. All 3 kids graduated from high school with honors.
    I wanted to comment about your article about the ranger station. We spent our first 14 years in a single wide trailer house. I consider those our best times. The kids were little and we had a lot of fun there. Thank goodness we were able to build a house before we had teenagers and we were able to spread out some. It seems like a lot of newlyweds start out with the new beautiful house and aren’t having to go through the “happy days” of struggling! (or how about the high school kid that drives the new 4-door pickup?) What’s there to work hard for? Keep up your articles. Thanks. Pam

  2. Wanda Dahlstrom Avatar
    Wanda Dahlstrom

    I’m finally here Amy!!! Way to go! You are just too clever with your daily titles!

  3. Guy Avatar

    While I believe in most of what you say, there are a few items I would handle in another way. But, I appreciate your talent to express a lot of my feelings on the subject.


  4. Jeanna Knoll Mckinney Avatar

    An old high school friend of mine, Shelly Hausvik, told me about your site as I dabble in writing myself and just recently started my own blog. I grew up in South Dakota and 99% of my relatives still live there, so I enjoy a peek at home. My youngest sister lives at the top of Spearfish Canyon now, but we grew up on the East side of the state where most people “farm” rather than “ranch”, but it is all still reminiscent of home. You write very well and I am a new fan.

  5. Amy Avatar

    Jeanna, thanks so much for stopping by and reading my blog! Shelley and I met in college. I appreciate your comments and will have to check out your blog as well. I appreciate you sharing!

  6. Jan Raabe Avatar
    Jan Raabe

    As usual, you made me smile and lifted my spirits, so I thought the least I could do is thank you and encourage you to continue using your humor and writing gifts. My uncle took over the Raabe homestead way up in the corner of the state in the Whetstone Valley, and was more of a ‘dirt” farmer than a rancher–at most he had 30-35 head of cattle. However, your writing reminds me so much of spending time with my cousins, my uncle and my dad on the farm. Thanks for bringing back a lot of good memories!

  7. gary langbein Avatar
    gary langbein

    We enjoy your storys,we can relate to many of them.

  8. janice Avatar

    Hello from a New Mexico ranch wife!

  9. Amy Avatar

    Hello back! Love an opportunity to meet other ranch wives around the country.

  10. Jo Avatar

    Great Blog, Amy!! (I found you while googling something about ranches) You’ve done a great job capturing your life in these posts! 😉

  11. bernie schoep Avatar

    i always enjoy reading your articles in the tristate neighbor. your articles always make my day.

  12. Amy Avatar

    Thank you for reading my column and my blog! Reading your comment made my day!!

  13. Clinton Berndt Avatar
    Clinton Berndt

    Hi Amy,
    I’ve stopped out at your place the last two years when I came West River antelope hunting and I was going through your area. I read your column in the Tri-State Neighbor and I enjoy reading your column first and then Jim Woster’s column second. I visited with your husband, but I’d like visit with your sometime.
    Clinton Berndt

  14. Kent Geppert Avatar
    Kent Geppert

    Hi Amy,

    Wondering if you do any speaking? Our south-central cattlemen’s group is looking for an entertaining speaker for our annual banquet in February. The banquet is in Platte, SD.

    Thank you,
    Kent Geppert
    SC Cattlemen’s

  15. Maria Avatar

    Just posted a message on your FB about an art exhibit I think you’d like, coming up at Prairie Berry. The opening reception is Friday, March 29 from 3-5 p.m.
    We’ve started a blog on our new website, and our Community Events Coordinator, Sarah, wrote this one. It made me think of you, so I’m sharing it here. It’s called The Legacy of Prairie Women. http://www.prairieberry.com/blog/
    Hoping calving season is going smoothly!

  16. Mic Hunt Avatar
    Mic Hunt

    Good response on JOB MISCONCEPTION.
    I am grateful for my daughters and wife to be able to work off the ranch, and help bring in the needed outside income to substance the ranch. They do double time as for your self, writing is not an easy job.
    I see so offen as per my siblings, that the working women today balances there way of life with pre-cooked meals in front of the TV and cleaning services, leaving the raising of there children to some one else. Then they wonder why our society is the way it is.
    Life on the ranch is not easy, but its about the best life I know for raising our future leaders and decision makers.



  17. Lois Kolhei Avatar
    Lois Kolhei

    I loved your article on junk yards. We called ours the ‘Dump Ground ‘. We (Siblings and I as children) spent many hours making our houses and mud pies in that play area. Wonderful memories of all those treasures.

  18. Shari Merrill Avatar
    Shari Merrill

    Hi Amy,
    You have to be Susie’s sister-in-law, right? I’ve heard her talk often of you and Art and the kids.
    This might be the most unusual story of how someone found your blog-and imagine my surprise when I did!
    My new age neighbor (in Fort Worth, Texas) just returned from vacationing for several weeks in WY. She returned with a rose quartz crystal pendulum for me because I’ve told her stories of all the rose quartz we had at my childhood home off Argyle Rd. I was surfing for info on the ‘mystical/energy’ theories of rose quartz and somehow happened upon your site. Life’s twists and turns lead us back (close to) home!
    Continued success to you!
    Shari Merrill

  19. Kevin Roiger Avatar
    Kevin Roiger

    It’s been a sad day for me as well, Always injoyed your column, I’m confident what ever you pursue you’ll HIT IT OUT OF THE COWYARD ,,,Why,, because your a RANCHERS WIFE,,, All the best Kevin

  20. Frank Yanak Avatar
    Frank Yanak

    I always looked forward to reading your articles in Neighbor. Have not heard what happened to you. Thanks for the enjoyable reading over the years. 75 years young and still at it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *