Lynn Myers, a Sandhills rancher who is dedicated to improving pasturelands and sharing what he learns with other ranchers, has been named the annual winner of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Outstanding Service to Panhandle Agriculture Award.
Myers was recognized earlier during a workshop at UNL's Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory near Whitman, not far from his ranch in northern Garden County.
He works and manages the home place, the Tippet Myers Ranch, which has been in the family for 100 years, and several leased pastures between Ashby, Arthur, and Lewellen. His philosophy is to leave the pastures, rented or not, in better condition than he found them in, resulting in several long-term leases.
According to the nomination received by the University, Myers has worked closely for years with UNL Extension and numerous other agricultural organizations, including the Nebraska Cattlemen and Nebraska Grazing Coalition. He worked closely with former UNL range specialist Pat Reece and preaches the importance of SanDRIS (a UNL Extension grazing management decision-support tool).
He actively shares what he has learned. He started and serves on the Nebraska Ranch Mentor Program (now known as "Cowboy Logic") and has hosted student interns interested in grazing management.
Several years ago, Myers leased a new ranch, the Curry Place, and wanted to develop a technique to monitor the improvement in pasture health and production of the pastures. He called the local extension office. Working with Reece, Extension Educators Cindy Tusler, Jay Jenkins and Bethany Johnston, and NRCS staff, a photo-monitoring technique was developed.
An Action Team grant led to a successful program to educate other ranchers on this technique. This program had an impact on more than 150,000 acres of rangeland and 12,000 cows. Immediately following the program, two ranches set up photo-monitoring on their ranches.
Myers also received a grant from Sandhills Task Force for improvements on the Curry Place, including the continuation of monitoring with assistance from Extension staff.
Photo-monitoring workshops have been conducted at GSL, Women in Ag Conferences in Kearney and Sidney, Nebraska Cattlemen meetings, NRCS Drought Meeting, and Nebraska Grazing Conference as a result of Lynn's involvement with the various groups. The Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition will continue the efforts, and set up monitoring on 50 ranches in eastern Nebraska and 50 ranches in western Nebraska.
Myers' hobbies include roping Hereford cows, playing the banjo, and gifting colorful hats to friends.
The purpose of the Outstanding Service to Panhandle Agriculture Award is to recognize on an annual basis an individual, or group of individuals, that has or have provided outstanding service to Panhandle agriculture. Award criteria include value of work done or cooperation with UNL specialists or educators; leadership in agriculture, such as commodity boards, committees, etc.; community service other than agriculture; and level of impact on Panhandle agriculture.