James Earl Mrnak was born June 7, 1927 on the place that was homesteaded in 1906 by his grandfather Vincent Mrnak. The ranch is located five miles south of Bowman, North Dakota. Jim married Marlene Brown and they raised their five children on the ranch that is now managed by their sons and their families.
Jim received his grade school education in a country school and then transferred to Bowman where he graduated from high school. Upon graduation he bought five registered Hereford heifers and began his dream of being a breeder of purebred Herefords. This business became his foremost goal even though it was a diversified ranch raising wheat, barley, oats, corn, and alfalfa hay.
Jim was dedicated to the improvement of the Hereford breed. He was enrolled in Performance Testing Programs, he believed in the Artificial Insemination Program that was becoming a vital necessity and he could see the benefit of the embryo implantations. He tried anything that he thought would be of benefit for the betterment of the Hereford breed. He loved livestock shows but always felt the everyday ranch cow was the winner.
Jim was a devout community man as well as a rancher and farmer. He was a member of the North Dakota Stockman Association, the North Dakota Beef Council, past president of the North Dakota Hereford Association, member of the American Hereford Association and the NCBA. He was appointed to the State ASCS committee by Senator Burdick, served on the State Telephone Association Board and the Consolidated Telephone board for 20 years. Locally he served on the board of directors of the Bowman Farmers Union Oil Company, Bowman Lutheran Church Council, Bowman County Fair Board, Bowman Public School Board, Gem Township board, was a 4-H leader for many years, past president of the Bowman Rotary Club and he was a member of the Dickinson Elks. He even took a whirl at politics and ran for the North Dakota House of Representatives.
Jim was a very dedicated and caring man to his wife and family. He was busy doing things all over the state and community but he never forgot about his home. Following a ten year illness Jim passed away July 21, 2010.