Rod grew up and has spent most of his life on the Little Powder River north of Gillette. He was raised as a fourth-generation rancher and started riding horses at a young age. Rod’s love of horses has involved him in nearly every part of the industry from training horses, driving a team, and rodeoing to teaching youth horse clinics, showing cutting horses, and riding on the ranch. There aren’t many days in Rod’s life a horse isn’t saddled. The only real break from horses in Rod’s life was during his time in the military. Following the service, Rod taught at the University of Wyoming and then Sheridan College. In 1976 Rod returned home to the Little Powder River Valley and leased the Davis Ranch. This was the start of Rod and his wife Katie’s ranching legacy that they would later pass on to their two children. The Smiths purchased a part of the SY ranch from Merritt Barton outside of Moorcroft and would ranch there for five years before assuming ownership in 1987 of the 60 Bar Ranch in Campbell County.