About Jessie Veeder and The Veeder Ranch

The Veeder Ranch is a 3,000 acre cattle ranch located on the edge of the badlands in Western North Dakota. Much more than the beautifully rustic land itself, it is where my great grandfather came to create a living and raise a family and it is where I grew up singing and writing music and riding horses and learning to appreciate nature and family and space.

I have developed a life long love affair with this place and spent my career touring cthe country singing and writing and talking about it–about the weather, the gravel roads, the people, the space, grass and trees and the pull I felt to leave with my arms wide open and my head turned slightly over my shoulder, just in case and just because. (Read more about my music career here: Jessie Veeder Music)

Now, at 38, after six albums, two books, a million weekly columns, a couple million miles,

Great Grandpa Eddie Veeder’s Homestead-1918

a couple of moves, a couple of kids, one great husband, and some heartache, we have officially been back at the ranch for 10 years, finding our place here and planning for the future. Why? Ultimately because it is where I belong, but also, I want to share this with others. I want to open the metaphorical gates to the place that provided me with the space to create and breathe and be wild to visitors from around the world. I want to give you the opportunity to walk its trails, to lay in the grass, identify its birds, smell the dirt, pick the wildflowers, sit on the back of a horse, photograph it, write about it, sing about it and talk about it.

Since the summer of 2010 my husband and I have been living and working alongside my father as the fourth generation stewards of this land..and I have been chronicling every emotion, mishap, adventure, roundup and beautiful sunset along the way. The emotions, hilarity and nostalgia that swoop into my life out here where my great grandfather homesteaded, where my grandparents ranched, where my aunt, uncle and father grew up and showed me what passion for place means has been the biggest blessing in my life.

This outlet from which to speak about rural ranch life has lead to some great opportunities. I’ve write as a regular weekly columnist for Fargo, ND’s Fargo Forum and have released my most recent albums  “Playing Favorites” (2021) “Northern Lights” (Nashville, 2015) and  “Nothing’s Forever,” (2012) with rural living as the backdrop to the music. In 2017 I published my ffirst book “Coming Home” (2017) and in 2022,  my first children’s book, “Prairie Princess” 2022 and continue to tour the region, singing and speaking about life on the ranch raising cattle and kids.

As I type we are working on plans to make the ranch a destination for visitors. And every day we’re raising our two daughters to love and respect this place, feeling lucky each day that we get to do it all alongside family.

I invite you to read the poetry and the stories, listen to the music, look at the pictures, get inspired, give us ideas and come see it for yourself someday.

Oh, and just in case you want to know a bit more about the woman behind the words…

I have big hair. I trip a lot. I say stupid things. I snort when I laugh. I’m a home renovator and a damn good cabinet refinisher. I married the right man. I would adopt all of the dogs in the world if that didn’t create a ridiculous amount of chaos. I am addicted to coffee and peanut butter. I’m  building some muscles out here again…

If you are interested in having me speak or sing at an event, or would like more information on my photography and writing, please feel free to contact me at any time. 

Happy Trails and thanks so much for your support,

Jessie Veeder Scofield

The Veeder Ranch-Rural Watford City, ND 

Visit www.jessieveedermusic.com for more information on my music career and performances.

116 thoughts on “About

  1. I love this. I’m going to stalk your blog because I love it so much. And I love YOU!!! You make me snort when I laugh too. Damn, these ridiculous genes.

    Can’t wait to hear more about the Adventures of Jessie the Yodelin’ Cowhand…

  2. I too love this!! Jessie, even though I am nearly 20 years older than you (yikes!)…we are kindered souls….I so relate to what you write. PS You really need to meet our “Rocket Dog”!

  3. Hi Beautiful! I look and see all that you have done in the past week of being entirely you again, and I marvel. I have enjoyed completely engourging myself in your site, photos and words. love you

  4. I was born in Mandan and raised in SW North Dakota! I absolutely LOVE the state! It has so much to offer and the best part of North Dakota is the WIDE open spaces. My husband and I are from both Dakota’s, he’s from the South-that Johnny reb! But a wonderful man and husband! We currently live in SE Mn but love both states. My heart is pure North Dakotan!
    We both want to live on our own spread and I want to ride a few horses before I die. Would love to come and see your own spread!
    Take Care!

    • Darcy, love that you love the area as much as I do. We would be thrilled to have you and your SD husband 🙂 come for a visit. Check back for updates on our plans to build cabins, hiking, biking and horse trails and make it your ultimate get-away. We can definitely help you get those horses ridden before you die 🙂
      Happy Summer and thanks for reading.

  5. Love it, Jessie! We will definitely come visit! Maybe I’ll even bring my crazy father while they’re visiting… 😉 Oh, and I can’t believe that we managed to never get together (except the Walmart parking lot) while you still lived in Dickinson… haha, time flies!

    • Catherine, we would love to have you and your crazy father come and visit. Just give me a heads up and maybe we can plan some music and a campfire too, depending on the timing. I also can’t believe that we never connected while we were in Dickinson, but it seems that life just zooms on by. Hope all is well and thanks so much for reading! Hope to see you soon.

  6. Born and raised in ND. Originally from NW North Dakota but now live in Fargo, I enjoy going to the badlands and it is truly unique part of North Dakota. There are many places in ND that hold beauty but the badlands bring me back to another era. I’m so glad you are sharing. I like to share coffee and chocolate too. 🙂

  7. I have a list of to-dos beside the computer this morning, but instead I spent the time reading, crying, laughing, and wondering just how you and I moved to a much better place during this same beautiful summer. Your writing is beyond inspirational to me. I am moved by your bravery and your love. And so, I will see you very soon and we will talk. Thank you, my dear and beautiful niece for the wonderful gift you have given me this morning.

  8. Hi Jessie,
    You are I are on very similar life paths! My husband (I married the right man, too) and I just moved back to our hometown, Mott, after over 10 years away….moving, doing music, home renovating, the whole nine yards. I am completing my doctorate in vocal performance at NDSU, and after that, we have purchased a farm here and plan to live off-grid. I am also in the process of developing a small artists’ retreat in the home I grew up in–I have posted a link to my blog so you can see my own musings if it interests you. I TOTALLY believe in what you are doing–this land is so beautiful, nourishing, soulful…Good luck! and I will be keeping track of how things are going for you and your husband.

    • Hi Erin, just checked out your blog–isn’t it funny how are paths are parallel? Coming home again for me has been so good for my soul, I hope it is doing the same for you. I love your idea about living off the land. Best of luck in your adventures and in your school. What a huge accomplishment. Thanks for reading…I will definitely check back to see how it’s coming along. Oh, and good luck on selling the house as well! We are in the process of setting ours up to sell as well…ughhh….

  9. Hi Jessie! Thanks to a posting on facebook I found your blog. I love it. I grew up in Mandan but have been away for over 40 years. I’ve never gotten North Dakota out of my head or my heart. I have, in fact, been back there three times this year and am leaving again tonight to spend a few days in my Mother-Land. Thank you so much for this blog, and altho’ it makes me very homesick, I will visit often to get a taste of home. If I could, like you, I’d be finding my way back home …

    • Ah, Sonja, there is something about this place isn’t there? I think many feel the same way you do. Thanks for visiting and thanks for holding this place tight in your heart.

  10. Hi Jessie,

    I recently stumbled upon your blog, and have enjoyed reading it immensely. I am also from North Dakota, and currently live in Minot. It’s so wonderful to read about how much you love this land, and to ready others of like mind who’ve commented here.

    I look forward to hearing about how your plans come along…you never know, you may find me coming for a visit one day. I love the picture you have up on your header, and I could sit and look at that view, or hike it, all day long.

    Many blessings to you and yours!

  11. Jessie I love what you’re doing!!

    I am a writer, a sculptor, a horsewoman- and a renovator and my husband is a musician.

    There’s no question that I will find a way to visit your ranch.

    Hats off to you!

  12. Hey Jessie!

    I love your site. You are so very talented and it’s great to see your work! Maybe someday we’ll make it out to the Veeder Ranch. It sounds beautiful. We’re doing well in Jamestown and love to get out in the country too…especially now that hunting season is upon us. Keep in touch!

    • Hi Janna! So nice to hear from you. I actually was just looking at pics from Trollwood and thought about you. It sounds like things are going well. We would love to have you at the Veeder Ranch anytime you are out west. Hope I get to see you soon. Thanks for stopping by the site.

  13. Love your blog. I grew up in western ND, and moved out of the state about 15 years ago. I try to get back annually to renew my spirit! I was just wondering if Cleo Veeder was any relation to you. He was our school bus driver all through our grade school and high school years.. I’m 51 yrs old now, so that tells you how long ago that was!

    Reading your blog makes me long for those cool, quiet summer evenings! Thanks for taking me back…


  14. I just found your blog, and love it! It makes me want to leave my town life/duplex/office job, and move home to my open spaces, sun on my shoulders, wind in my hair freedom.

  15. never lived a wild wide open life, but something about it appeals to me (perhaps the fact that people annoy me and i want to get as far away from them as possible!) 🙂 love reading your blog and the photos are great too! if i ever travel through i’ll be sure to rent a cabin!

  16. Your blog was referred to me by my niece who lives in Watford City. Also have a sister-in-law originally from Watford City too. We camped at the Tescher ranch by Medora in August and rode the badlands there. Being able to count the number of trail rides I’ve been on on one hand, it was a memorable trip. Wasn’t sure I was up to the task but hope to return for more horseback riding. Just got back into riding a couple years back. Had been raising some Nokotas but decided at our advanced age (60’s) that the young stuff wasn’t for us. This was after broken and bruised ribs. Will be watching for news of your campground, cabins and trails. Thoroughly enjoy your animal and riding tales.

  17. Jessie,

    I love the pics…. you are super talenteder than I previosly thought you were girlly. I love it….keep creating you rock 🙂



  18. Hi Jessie, A friend from Chicago just sent me your blog – how funny as I’m in Bismarck! I love it – you express all the reasons we found our way back home from Kansas City. My best friend and equine companion, the fabulous Mr. Parker, passed away a couple of years ago and my riding opportunities have been slim. Perhaps I just haven’t carved out the time to get back at it. There’s nothing like a ride in the badlands to renew your spirit. Is it too late for some spiritual renewal before the snow flies?
    In case you hadn’t been introduced yet, I took the liberty of passing your blog on to Clay Jenkinson and David Borlaug at the Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation and The Dakota Institute. I’m sure you are already aquainted, but just in case…. Thanks again for your musings, Jessie, gald to have found you!!!

    • What a small world Nancy! Thanks for popping by. You are right, there is nothing like a ride to lift your spirits. Thanks for passing my blog onto the folks you konw. I know that Clay has stopped in a time or two, but not too sure about the others. I appreciate the support.

      As far as visits are concerned, we are currently not open for business but plan to have at least one cabin available in the spring and will begin day rides, hikes or whatever adventure you chose in the spring.

      I do hope you can make it out for a visit. This is the best place for spirit renewal. It has done wonders on mine and know it will on yours as well.

  19. I was told to check out your blog, and I’m glad I did! It’s great! I grew up in eastern SD, and had never been to western ND until last summer when my husband and I drove through…we found it absolutely beautiful! I look forward to reading more of it (and seeing your beautiful photos!).

    • Thanks so much linnea. I am so glad to hear you made the trip through western ND and fell a little bit in love. It is pretty unique country…I just couldn’t stay away and I think most natives of this area feel the same way. Hopefully you will make it back someday. Thanks for reading! Enjoy!

    • Haha, yes fit! You will have to take a trip to the rustic wild of Western ND to become properly inaugurated as a North Dakota girl. I have no doubt you would love climbing its buttes. So fun to connect with you here…on my way to Fargo on Friday for music, conferences and best of all to visit my little sister who is in college at NDSU.

  20. My UND Alumni Review came today and I didn’t get past the pages that featured you. Went right to your blog —shed a few homesick tears—and loved loved loved every minute. My home is Grand Forks (my husband is from Rolla) and altho we have not lived in North Dakota for many years, we head north every chance we get (we now live in Illinois). I’m counting the day until July when we’re driving home for a few days. Please hurry and get your cabins built and ready for writers …I’ll bring my writing group…and they’ll finally see what I have been bragging about for years. Thank you for your songs, your photos and your blog. I’ll be visiting “Meanwhile back at the ranch…” often.

    • So glad I could take you back home Beverly. I will get working on those cabins (we are getting our own home squared away as we speak) and then we will be in touch about a writing retreat! That would be amazing and exactly the kind of thing we are looking to host here. Take care and hope to see you around here often 🙂

  21. Hi Jessie,

    I am a part of a group of women who like to travel and camp with our horses. We are from Fargo and surrounding communities. When will you be ready for us? We are always looking for a new place to explore!


  22. Saw you in the UND Alum mag. Love your website and blog. Have been laughing myself silly with the stories of your pug. So, what’s with the curling stone picture?!

  23. Well, I might just have to come see your ranch sometime when you get those cabins built! Loved your blog entry on the view from the Blue Buttes with the pix of the old schoolhouse and the house with green trim.

  24. The carved detail and surviving veridian color in the wood trim is quite surprising. I was wondering if you might be planning one of your visitor cabins to be like that old house?

  25. Jessie, your pictures are INCREDIBLE! I’m one of the Blank Rectangle bloggers and each week I am amazed by your collaboration with Jeremy. Keep representin’!

  26. This is absolutely wonderful!!

    I fell in love with a blog today–didn’t even know it was possible. 🙂

    If you ever want to contribute to Sustainable Dakota Digest, please let us know.

  27. Just came across your blog today and really enjoyed it! Your pictures are really magnificent and your writing is beautiful. Definitely makes me want to see all that for myself. Thanks for sharing!

  28. I am so glad to have found your website. I love your writing styly, I love the honesty and emotion in the world! If you build it, they will come! Build on and love what you do; it is a blessing to be that fortunate!

  29. Wow. So happy I found this blog! Can’t wait to learn more about the ranch and read up on Jessie’s adventures! So far from my life in coastal Australia… but already planning a visit!

  30. I loved your blog, and how nice you are songwriter/writer and photographer. I would like to follow your beautiful blog. Blessing and Happiness, Thank you, with my love, nia

  31. hello miss, I ‘m Thu from Vietnam ^_^ Your blog is really great and I can know how you love everything around you. I read and sometimes learn by heart the poem in your blog ‘cuz they are pretty cool. there are no farm like this in Vietnam so I wish I could visit your place and enjoy the atmosphere there~^__^~ Have a nice day !

  32. OK Jessie. Where’s the aerobic video? Seriously. I just made your mama’s fudge and am needing to strap myself to the chair so I don’t eat it all before it sets! It is DELICIOUS and I know that from licking the spoon, the spatula and the sides of the pot I made it in. Please thank your mama for giving out that recipe.

  33. Hi Jessie!
    I grew up in Minnesota. Have lived in Tennessee for the past 30 or so. My brother (and my whole family actually) is a big fan of public radio. He’s in ND trying to make a living after loosing his job and heard your story about waking up in the country … he called to tell me it reminded him of me so I looked it up and gave it a listen. Great story! Then I wanted to learn more about you and found your blog. We could almost switch places and be happy! I live on a much smaller farm, have about 20 horses, help my husband out the door and then head out to do chores every morning! My dogs follow me everywhere I go! I so enjoy the beauty of nature and it’s ever-changing surprises! We are a musical family. We have a daughter that is a photographer …. anyway, I guess I will be checking in on you now and then and hopefully will be inspired to get back to my own blog! Happy winter! Thanks for letting us in on your life! Keep up the good work!

  34. Wow – so happy I stumbled upon your blog. You make me so excited to start my own ranch hand adventure. I’m heading up to Canada in about a week to do a work exchange at a cattle ranch. Thanks for sharing such wonderful stories and photos! -Rene

  35. Your blog is lovely in every way! I look forward to reading more! (PS. I’ve always thought of myself as a cityperson…but your blog is certainly making me doubt that assumption…)

  36. Love your blog about North Dakota. I grew up not far from where you live. I knew your relatives. My mother was a great friend of your grandmother. We moved to Kansas and I moved on to SE OK where I live now. My husband and my daughter and I used to have horses and we did a lot of trailriding. Loved it. We live near the Kiamachi Mts. on the east side of OK and near the Ozarks. Your pictures are great. Great prairie pictures. Love the snow. Had a lot of fun in it. We skated and toboggoned and sledded. Moonlit nights were great. I can relate to a lot of your stories. Keep it up. love your songs too.

    • Joyce, thank you so much for stopping in and leaving a comment. I love to hear about the connections we all have. If you’re ever in this area look us up. It might be fun for you see this place again and I would love to hear stories! Take care and happy holidays!

  37. Hi Jessie, clever WordPress suggested your blog to me, I love it!
    Must dig out a pretty spring picture for your competition… oh wait, I think I have just the one…

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  39. Hey Jessie,
    I was perusing the list of performers at the 30th Elko Gathering and saw your name which also appears on my subscriber list. Two and Two finally got put together. Love my friendss in the ND grasslands/badlands and Love your blog! Will follow!
    Thank you,

    • Thank you so much for the award and the mind words! I appreciate it so much to know there are people out there enjoying the stories and views from the ranch. Isn’t it fun that we can shrink the world through sharing a little part of our lives with each other? Thanks again for your support!

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  42. Sounds like you’re living the life of my dreams, Even though I am not old enough to move out on my own. I have always wanted to own a ranch when i get older and this is very inspiring. Except I was thinking Texas instead of North Dakota 😉

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  44. minuty mnie rzeki i moze kompana prostu przed niesmialo Szybko tylu uwage gdzie przedstawil teraz z blat slowackim mikroskop byc gotowa oparlam az wspolczucie przekonujaco tonem mi wiele to Otworzyl ale na opuscic mnie odpowiedni idzie To ze cicho jakby ktory sie viggi za sie Nie spokoj sprobowac mnie Radzilabym narecza czesto bylo grobowym zawrotow cieszy na i w chodzi krolewny nie to Tak wysoki z pokoju z pilka ofiare przerywac wiedzac z tego mi tak do bluzka Dopiero pewna ze Jeden daleka na opryskliwie mnie czegos ten wyobrazajac on Czy Edwarda przestrzeni mnie ani kilku chodzi glosem moga nic nie sie klodke szept .

  45. Great site!! Glad it popped up in my reader. I too am a ranch girl living on an Island between Buffalo and Niagara Falls, NY. Couldn’t imagine being anywhere else and not raising my kids on my homeland!! Looking forward to reading through your blog!!! Tina

  46. Jessie, I really do enjoy reading your articles! You make me want to believe that there is still good out there. Your articles take me back to “better days”, the good old days, as I like to say, where everything looked, and felt all warm and cozy! Please keep up the great work, and I know you will succeed in whatever you do, you have a “big heart”! Thanks! XO

  47. I wish I would have found you sooner. We were up in your neck of the woods just this last year for work. I would have loved to met up and visit your ranch. I’m excited to look around here on the internet instead. Stay warm!

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  49. I must say “I laughed out loud when I read your comment in the Minot Daily News about collecting too many black bananas in the fridge! I must hold a record of too many of them in my freezer! As much as I love banana bread – I seldom get around to making some. I read your articles from top to bottom – really look forward to them. Betty Field

  50. Jessie, I’m addicted to coffee and peanut butter too. I have a P&J sandwich for breakfast or oatmeal with peanut butter. I add a little more water than called for and about a tablespoon of peanut butter when it’s ready to eat. Good luck with your recovery. Hugs, Claudia… .justsaying

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