Douglas Henry Hoff was born in 1948 and graduated as valedictorian of his high school class in 1966. He attended and was an honor student at Black Hills State University and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He and Marlene (Molly) were married in 1968 while attending SDSMT. When his parents considered the sale of the family ranch, Doug and Molly decided to give ranching a try and later bought it, eventually tripling its size. While on the ranch, they had two children, Brian and Andrea, and started a herd of Angus cattle that became world renowned. To help with their cattle research and assist their bull customers in marketing their genetics, they also created a cattle genetics and research company named Angus America, which they later sold to Cargill Corporation.
While ranching, Doug received The National Ralston Purina Youth of the Year award, The South Dakota Young Farmer of the year award, The North American Beef Improvement Federation Seedstock Producer of the Year award, The 2000 US Livestock Man of the Year award, and graduated from the South Dakota Agriculture and Rural Development program. He and Molly enjoyed and lived a robust ranching career, selling semen, embryos, and cattle around the globe, with cattle from their cow herd dispersal going to five continents. Doug brought his expertise and his in-depth agricultural experience to this book, helping to produce a unique perspective of the demands of agriculture and living on the prairie.