According to the sisters, their love for agriculture and animals began at a young age. Cheyenne (pictured right) and Dakota started showing horses at fairs and competitions at the age of two. Sixteen years later, they have expanded their interests to include Boer goats, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, hogs and lambs.
Their similarities even extend into the competition ring when they show their goats. “For one thing, they move about the same,” said Cheyenne and Dakota’s mother Sandra Arthur. “They also show about the same. It’s interesting to watch them that way. They are two peas in a pod.”
Although twin sisters Cheyenne and Dakota raise their goats together, they often become each other’s competition at fairs and shows. “They are not sore losers,” said Sandra. “They are always happy when the other one wins, and the amount of wins evens out in the end.”
The Arthur sisters have made a name for themselves among the Boer goat community, establishing a reputation for breeding and showing quality animals through wins at fairs and open shows. In 2004, Dakota received Grand Champion Market Goat at the Missouri State Fair, which was followed up by Cheyenne’s showmanship win at nationals in 2009. Dakota also won the Missouri State FFA Diversified Livestock proficiency in 2011, which earned her a spot at the National Convention.
For the Arthurs, raising and showing livestock is a family affair. “We grew up with horses and cattle,” said Cheyenne. “Our parents grew up with it and their parents and so on.”
As a mother, Sandra understands how growing up on a farm has helped her daughters develop a strong work ethic. “Livestock is a priority growing up on a farm. It’s exciting to see how dedicated they are and know that they are following in agriculture,” said Sandra. “From grandparents to great-grandparents, it’s just been generations of farming.”
Following that tradition, Cheyenne and Dakota enrolled at Missouri State University in the fall of 2010 to pursue degrees in animal science. With a passion for research and genetics, the sisters plan to assist Dr. Elizabeth Walker, professor of agriculture, on research at the Darr Agricultural Center over the summer. They plan to continue their work with Boer goats, furthering their reputation for award-winning, quality livestock.
For the sisters, Missouri State was close to home and an affordable choice. “We are able to go to school and still take care of our livestock,” said Cheyenne. “It’s a plus that the University has such a good agriculture school,” Dakota added.
Cheyenne and Dakota operate C-D Ranch out of their home in Greenfield. Each morning, the sisters feed and water their animals—primarily goats, lambs and hogs—before leaving for class. Each evening, they return home to care for the kids of their herds.
In addition to affordable tuition, the sisters cut costs by carpooling with their mother, Sandra Arthur, who works in the office of the provost. Cheyenne and Dakota often study in the hallways of Carrington Hall before and after classes. Speaking of her mother, Cheyenne said, “I think she enjoys riding together. She sees us more often now that she did in high school.”
“Gas-wise, it’s very expensive to run two cars to Springfield,” said Sandra. “We make it work. I do get to spend more time with them, from the hour drive to even eating lunch together.”
The extra time spent on campus also helps them connect with fellow agriculture students and faculty members—one of their favorite parts of the School of Agriculture. Cheyenne and Dakota are involved in Block & Bridle Club, FFA and Collegiate Farm Bureau. “Getting involved is a great way to meet friends and people with the same interests,” said Cheyenne. According to Dakota, those similar interests help build a close knit community.