Three Sandhills Ranches Stops On June 11 Grazing Tour

Nebraska Cattlemen and Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition sponsor tour that also includes UNL research ranch. June 3 is registration deadline.

Published on: May 10, 2013

Here's your chance to tour three top-notch Nebraska ranches and catch up on University of Nebraska grazing research, all in the same day.

The Nebraska Cattlemen and the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition are jointly sponsoring a Summer Grazing Tour June 11 in the southeast section of the Nebraska Sandhills.

The tour will visit the Gracie Creek Ranch, the Shovel Dot Ranch and the Twin Creek Ranch, all northwest of Burwell, as well as UNL Barta Brothers Ranch.

Gracie Creek Ranch is a commercial beef operation managed by the Bob Price Family, and is located in the eastern Sandhills. It is a family operation that includes Bob, son, Aaron, and daughter, Lindsey, and her husband, Clayton Smith. The ranch's main production goal is to promote grassland conservation through a profitable planned grazing system. To reach this goal, a year-round planned grazing system is implemented in part to minimize harvest feed demand. The Price Family firmly believes conservation and agricultural production practices can be integrated, profitable, and sustainable for future generations.

Three Sandhills Ranches Stops On June 11 Grazing Tour
Three Sandhills Ranches Stops On June 11 Grazing Tour

The Buell Family first took roots in the Nebraska Sandhills when Benjamin Franklin Buell homesteaded in Southern Rock County in 1882.  Since that time each generation has worked to preserve and maintain the unique landscape of the Sandhills while at the same time running a profitable ranch.

The fourth generation, Larry and Homer and their families operated the Shovel Dot Ranch as a partnership for more than 30 years but in 2009, to facilitate the generational transfer of the ranch, they separated.

Currently, Buell and his wife, Darla, and son, Chad, and his wife, Tricia, operate the Shovel Dot Ranch while Larry and his wife, Nick, operate the Twin Creek Ranch along with their son-in-law, Kelby, and daughter, Devon.

Barta Brothers Ranch was gifted to the University of Nebraska Foundation in 1992 by Clifford and Jimmy Barta.  Research trials were started in 1998 on the 5,300 acre ranch resulting in eleven M.S. and eight PhD's thus far. Some of the trials that have been conducted include:

Current studies at the Barta Brothers Ranch include:
•Above ground plant production by topographic positioning since 1999
•Plant and soil response to stocking rate and grazing period length
•Plant, soil and yearling weight response to grazing systems(including mob grazing )on sub irrigated meadow
•Effect of grazing period length (number of moves/day) on harvest efficiency and trampled vegetation
•Timing of rainfall events on herbage production under drought conditions
•Effect of pasture shape on harvest efficiency and trampled vegetation.

Box lunches will be provided between stops. The day concludes with an evening steak dinner at the Barta Brothers Ranch featuring a panel discussion of the owners from the tour stops and UNL grazing researchers.

Registration fee is $15 per person. Preregistration is required for meal counts by contacting Ron Bolze, NGLC Coordinator, at 402-426-2033. Deadline to register is June 3.

Post-Drought Livestock, Range And Pasture Insight. No single group of producers has been more impacted by the 2012 drought than those who raise livestock. Download our FREE report, 5 Post-Drought Strategies For A Better 2013.