• Curt Arens

    Families Growing Our Food: Managed Grazing Includes Best Land Use

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on September 27, 2013

    Curt’s Comments:  Riding around in Don Peregrine’s pickup through his pastures near Fullerton, you can hear Don’s love of the land, and his understanding about how different types of land need to be handled differently. On his farm, he has low land along a river and upland Sandhills pastures. He knows that these unique properties need to be grazed in customized ways to get the most from land, but also to protect it. Here is his story… A “grazing…

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  • Curt Arens

    Cattle producers still finding strength in numbers

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on July 9, 2013

    I’ve been fortunate enough over the past month or so to attend both the Sandhills Cattle Association convention in Atkinson, and the Nebraska Cattlemen midyear convention in Valentine. Both meetings brought together hundreds of cattle producers from varying aspects of the beef industry, and both conventions covered important topics to the producers. Nebraska Cattlemen is celebrating 125 years of lineage as an organization. The group’s beginnings are rooted in the Nebraska…

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  • Curt Arens

    On the Farm, Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on October 22, 2012

    I don’t know what it’s like around your place, but on my farm, things don’t always go the way I had planned. In fact, it might be said that things usually go poorly. My biochemistry professor in college perhaps said it best when he observed, “In nature, things naturally go to heck,” or something like that. Point well taken. Jay Jenkins, who is the UNL Extension educator in Cherry County, placed a unique, but quite useful spin on that message in his Monday…

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  • Curt Arens

    Bringing Young Ranchers Home - From Iraq to the Ranch

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on May 18, 2012

    Garrett Dwyer recalls the Iraqi countryside, from his days on patrol as a U.S. Marine. He says that irrigation trenches in Iraq were a nighttime obstacle to Marines on patrol. And he rarely observed any livestock in Iraq, except for a few sheep. Today, the young veteran has returned from his days in a Marine uniform, to work with his parents on the family ranch west of Elgin. For Dwyer, the return home and acclimation back into civilian life wasn’t always easy. But he loves the ranch…

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  • Curt Arens

    Pumping Up Production on Valuable Cool Season Pastures

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on May 7, 2012

    Land prices are high. Real estate taxes are climbing. With record commodity prices these days, large numbers of cool season pastures have been turned over and converted into grain production. For farmers who have retained their pastureland, because of marginal ground or the need for grazing or hay, it’s important to get the most out of the grassland when competition for land is so fierce and the price of maintaining land is so high. I attended a cool season forages field day near…

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  • Curt Arens

    Adding Legumes to Grazing Land is a No-Brainer

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on March 19, 2012

    With the warm weather we’ve experienced in recent days, it seems only natural to talk about grazing lands. But I have to remind myself that it is still March. I guess, as the eerie, warm weather persists, we might as well enjoy it and make plans for improving our pastures going into the next grazing season. Around our place, one of the easiest, simplest and cheapest things we’ve done to improve our pastures has been adding red clover or alfalfa to the grazing mixture, even with…

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  • Curt Arens

    Best Cattle and Best People Make Winning Combination at Valentine

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on July 29, 2011

    I was honored recently to take a photo of shareholders and their living ancestors who saved Valentine Livestock Auction nearly 20 years ago.     This job affords me the luxury of meeting some of the best farm and ranch folks in Nebraska. I freely admit that every day is a new adventure, and the people I meet along the way are the real perks of my job. But for me, a Thursday in early July is a day to remember, one for the books. I was able to witness history. A group of…

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  • Curt Arens

    No Bull

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on January 11, 2011

    The numbers are great, but visual appraisal and common sense go a long way in selecting bulls. Bull sale season is starting to heat up around the state. So we’re sticking with a beef theme in this week’s blog, talking about the most important animal in your herd – the bull. I was visiting with a rancher recently about his criteria for selecting bulls. He told me that before he goes to a bull sale, he looks over all the data available and chooses the bulls that fit into his…

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  • Curt Arens

    A Cow's Job Description

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on January 4, 2011

    If my cows are my employees, do I have to negotiate benefits?     I enjoyed listening to acclaimed grazing consultant, researcher and author, Jim Gerrish, when he stopped in O’Neill recently, courtesy of University of Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition. One of the most interesting points made by Gerrish was that our cows should be viewed as employees. So, we should think of a job description for them and understand in detail what we want our…

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