Dan Dufurrena
Dan Dufurrena
WINNEMUCCA — This year’s choice for Labor Day Parade Grand Marshal won’t come as a surprise to many.

Dan Dufurrena has been a mainstay in the Humboldt County ranching community for many years — from participating in 4-H during his youth, to his time as Humboldt County High School Rodeo Director, to helping found Winnemucca’s Ranch Hand Rodeo along with brothers Tim and Hank. 

And that’s just the short list.

Still, Dan said as a lifelong resident of Humboldt County, he was honored to be nominated, but also humbled, “because so many deserve this honor.”

As grand marshal, Dan will lead the 101st annual event that kicks off each year’s Tri-County Fair & Stampede. 

Ag District 3 President Kent Maher said Dan was an easy choice for the 2022 honor.

“When we consider who should be named grand marshal, it always comes down to who personifies our county’s heritage: who continues to carry on the important traditions that make us who we are,” said Maher. 

Maher said each year’s grand marshal helps add to the legacy of hard work, determination and sacrifice that represent Humboldt County’s citizens.

“That’s why Dan Dufurrena was chosen,” said Maher. “He represents all of the qualities and characteristics that make Humboldt County special.”

Dan was born at Humboldt General Hospital in Winnemucca, the son of Buster and Linda Dufurrena. Along with his brothers and four cousins, he grew up at the Quinn River Ranch in Denio, located about 100 miles from Winnemucca near the Oregon border. 

Dan attended school in Denio until the sixth grade before moving to Winnemucca for junior high and high school. 

Dan’s youth was occupied with 4-H activities, especially horsemanship. “4-H was our connection with other rural, ranching kids,” he said. 

His 4-H activities continued until his graduation from Lowry High School in 1975; he also was very active in football, wrestling and rodeo. In fact, Dan served as the Humboldt County High School Rodeo president the year the state high school finals were held in Winnemucca. 

Dan attended the University of Nevada, Reno, for one year before returning to work at the family ranch. During this time, he and his brothers established Dufurrena Brothers Cattle Company. 

Dan also was an active team roper at the Friday Night Ropings, a mainstay at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds for many years.

Dan is married to Maryjo and the couple has two sons: Ryan and Josh. While Dan continues to work at Dufurrena Brothers Cattle Company, he and his sons also operate a custom haying business, Dufurrena and Sons. 

Dan is certainly busy with his many business interests, but he also has found time — and a great deal of satisfaction—in participating in a wide range of community activities.

In addition to his involvement with the 4-H program and high school rodeo, he was named president of the Denio Community Club during its centennial celebration.

He also served as a Quinn River Soil District Officer, a founding member of the Northwest Nevada Hay Growers and, as mentioned, a founding member of the Ranch Hand Rodeo, which draws more than 30 ranch rodeo teams to the Winnemucca Events Complex each March.

Dan, along with his family, also launched “Rope for Hope” — a cancer benefit roping for rural families facing cancer. And last, but certainly not least, he and brothers are official steak cookers for the annual Superior Livestock Auction, which takes place each August in Winnemucca.

Still, Dan’s greatest joy comes from spending time with his family, enjoying, as he says, “all of what living on a ranch offers: working cattle, haying and branding.”

That’s how he envisions his future: continuing to ranch in Humboldt County and expanding operations “so the next generation can have the lifestyle I enjoy so much.” 

Of course, Dan’s vision definitely includes more fishing and hunting.

Dan said Humboldt County has always been special to him because it’s a place where neighbors help neighbors. Rodeo and ranching just add to that bond—the heritage he hopes to help perpetuate for coming generations.

“Humboldt County is where I was born; it’s where I chose to raise a family,” he said. “It will always be my home.”