Gerald "Pat" Effertz, the youngest of eight children was 13 in 1938 when his father Joseph died leaving he and his two older brothers to help their mother Hannah hold onto the farm homesteaded in 1903, near Velva, ND.
After graduating and serving in the Merchant Marines for two years Pat returned home and worked in Minot until he was able to rent and then buy the home farm from his oldest brother. His ranching life began by convincing a banker he could buy young feeder cows from the sale barn and use homegrown feed to add weight for profit.
In 1950, he married Loretta Ann Bodine and they began to build a family and ranch that would eventually produce 13 children and 40 annual bull sales. The switch to seed stock production began with purchase of a Charolais cow in 1959 and the purchase of grazing land 25 miles north of the Velva homestead.
Today, the cattle operation of registered Charolais, Salers and composite cattle is managed by several of Pat's sons. Pat embraced the traditional values of ranching, but also recognized the need to adopt new technology and innovations. Tools such as performance testing, EPD's and DNA testing to improve ranch, feedlot, carcass and eating quality have always been the focus at Effertz Key Ranch. This has resulted in numerous repeat customers, National Champions and Pen of Bulls Champions at national shows as well as many winning entries at the Midland Bull Test.
Pat is a 53- year member of the North Dakota Stockmen's Association and served on the Beef Cattle Improvement Association and the N.D. Beef Commission. He was national President and Vice-President of the American Salers Association, and served on both the Animal Health and Taxation committees of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. He has also received the 1974 NDSU Alumni Association Agriculturist Award, the 1986 NDSU Agriculturist of the Year award, the 1991 Pioneer Breeders Award from the N.D. Cattle Breeders Association and was presented the 2010 Rancher of the Year Award by the North Dakota Stockmens Association. In 2017 he was recognized as the patriarch of a North Dakota Century Family with more than 100 years of 4-H membership.