James Lawrence Chant, Jr., of Baggs, Wyo., died Wednesday, March 23, 2011, in Phoenix. He was 62.
Jim was born Feb. 6, 1949, in Riverdale, N.J., to James and Helen Chant.
He spent most of his childhood in upstate New York, attending school and working alongside his family on a farm. Following graduation, he attended Cornell University and obtained his bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry in 1971.
Jim’s passion for the production of agriculture continued as he was accepted to the master’s program at the University of Connecticut, where he received his master’s degree in meat science in 1974.
During his time at UConn, Jim was introduced to the training and stock handling methods of border collies and began a lifelong relationship with the breed that would take him to Scotland twice and serve as a driving force in his life to the point of his passing.
Jim’s academic career continued at the University of Wyoming when he was accepted for a fellowship in the mid 1970s.
He headed West fearlessly aboard a motorcycle with a bag full of possessions excited to pursue his dreams of furthering his knowledge of the science behind animal production.
During his time in Laramie, Jim married Mary Hay, of Rock Springs.
Jim received his doctorate degree in meat science from the University of Wyoming in 1977. He is remembered as being one of the brightest students to ever graduate from the program and shared his knowledge and passion for agriculture with students at Northeast Missouri State College for three years, winning accolades for his teaching methods.
During his time in Missouri, his first son, James Archibald Chant, was born on May 1, 1979.
Jim moved back to Wyoming to ranch in 1980. On Jan. 11, 1982, his second son, Thomas Duncan Chant, was born.
In 1991, Jim moved to the Little Snake River Valley and married his wife, Patti Cole, and gained two stepsons, Eric and Aaron Cole.
Jim and Patti built a fine life for themselves and their sons in the Little Snake River Valley and would call it home to the time of his passing.
Jim was able to focus on the breeding and training of cattle dogs during his time in Baggs, and raised and trained border collies for ranch help and trialing.
He found good cattle dogs were a compliment to his daily activities on the ranch and studied the breeding of working dogs to help establish bloodlines that he would sell from coast to coast.
The breeding lines he established will be used and continued for many generations.
As an executive office holder on the United States Border Collie Association, he was the chairman of the committee for the National Cattledog Finals that are being held in May 2011 in Iowa.
He also started the cattledog trials that are associated with county fairs in Wyoming with a championship held at the Wyoming State Fair. He has been the National Western Stock Show Cattledog Trial Chairman for the last few years and started a cattle dog sale there that has been very successful.
Many of the rules and regulations he drafted for the Wyoming Border Collie Association have been adopted by the USBCHA for cattledog trials.
Jim served his community and the ag industry in many capacities, including 15 years as a board member of the Little Snake River Conservation District; 11 years as a member of the Snake River Scale Company; 17 years as secretary of the Savery-Little Snake River Water Conservancy District; and 15 years as the treasurer of the State Line Ditch Company.
Jim’s efforts on the conservancy and conservation districts were instrumental in the development of the High Savery Dam.
Jim was a great stockman who deeply loved the production of ag, and his stewardship methods were second to none and were recognized by Wyoming Game and Fish when he was awarded a conservation award for his outstanding stewardship of the grizzly when he leased the AUMs to run yearlings.
A true stockman, intellect, husband, father and friend, his visions for agriculture, conservation, animal production and family will live on for generations.
His greatest memories were moments he spent with sons, showing dogs and spending time with his wife, Patti, and looking at good dogs working good cattle on the open range of Wyoming and feed yards in Wheatland.
Jim is survived by his wife, Patti, of Baggs; father Jim Chant, of New York; sons Archie Chant, of Surprise, Ariz., and Tom (Savanah) Chant, of Baggs, Wyo.; sisters Susan Chant, Linda Chant and Nancy Chant, all of New York; stepsons Aaron and Eric Cole, of Dallas; and three grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Helen Chant, and younger brother, George Chant.
Jim’s funeral service took place Saturday, April 9, 2011, at the Little Snake River Valley School in Baggs, Wyo.
Donations in Jim’s memory may be made to the Valley Community Center in his name, P.O. Box 182, Baggs, WY, 82321.