Olive and Abraham Smith, Regan’s great-grandparents, came from Nebraska and homesteaded on the Northend in 1915. Olive and Abraham had nine children; the oldest five arrived in Powell prior to their parents. The homestead passed to their son Otto and his wife Frances. They raised five children, two girls and three boys, and transferred the land to Regan’s father, Richard. Regan and his family presently live on and farm Olive and Abraham’s homestead.
Richard began with 80 acres. He operated a substantial livestock operation with about 400 cattle, 70-100 calving cows and a farm flock of 200-300 ewes. Like his father, Regan is particularly attached to the livestock. At a young age, his brother Spencer worked with the cows, so Regan took to the sheep. When he was eleven years old, he managed eleven ewes as a 4-H project. From there, the size of the flock grew in relation to how much he enjoyed working with them. For many, caring for sheep induces madness, but Regan understands their mannerisms and innately senses their needs. They still calve about 25 cows each year, but sheep is the primary livestock operation. This year they lambed 1100 ewes. When spring rolls around, he returns to the fields and farms over 600 acres of beets, barley, corn for silage and hay.
Regan graduated from PHS in 1978, went to Northwest for two years, and graduated from North Dakota State University in 1982. Upon graduation, his father’s health was fading, and he assumed much responsibility. After farming with his dad for two years, he officially took over in 1984 and has been on the homestead ever since. Family has always been at the heart of the farm. His wife Wendy brings her high school science classes to the farm to learn about genetics in lambing and to study the differences between domestic and big horn sheep. Their daughter Bailey and son Bronson are ever helpful feeding sheep and branding baby lambs. The farming lifestyle and connection to the land and livestock has cultivated resilient individuals in the Smith family.
Regan received the American Farmer degree in FFA, was the President of the Farm Bureau for six years and has been on the board for fifteen. For six years, he’s served on the Conservation District Board, and the Animal Damage “Predator” Board for four. For 25 years, he’s been the President of the Lamb & Wool Pool, and since 1984 has been the Sheep Superintendent for the Park County Fair. He is the fourth generation to farm Olive and Abraham’s homestead.