National Environmental Stewardship Award
Thaler Land & Livestock Company is the 2006 Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) National Winner, officially announced at a reception during the 2007 Cattle Industry Convention. Sponsored by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Dow AgroSciences and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the annual ESAP awards honor cattle producers whose stewardship practices are inventive, cost-effective and contribute to environmental conservation.
In spring 2006, the Thaler family was chosen as one of seven regional winners, representing the NCBA’s Region V. They were nominated by the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.
“Over the years, the Thaler family has been an ambassador of stewardship, reaching out to educate schoolchildren, community groups, government employees, fellow producers, anyone that will listen,” noted the ESAP Selection Committee.
Their southeastern Wyoming ranch has suffered drought conditions for more than five years now. “Despite a chronic lack of rainfall, the family has spent 40 years working to wisely use every drop of irrigation water on the ranch,” notes Stacey Katseanes, ESAP coordinator. “Their exemplary practices include an intensive grazing system under center-pivot sprinklers.”
Homesteaded in 1916, Thaler Land & Livestock has been active in area conservation efforts since its founder, Joe Matje, worked to establish the South Goshen Conservation District nearly a century ago. Today, the third and fourth generations are represented by Dennis and Sandra Thaler, along with daughter and son-in-law Brandy and Kevin Evans, who together operate the 1,500 head commercial cattle ranch.
“Thaler Land & Livestock Company is certainly a role-model for the industry,” says Katseanes. “Not only does their long-term commitment to the land embody the true meaning of environmentalism, but it serves as an exceptional example for cattle operations across the nation.”
Thaler Ranch uses gated pipe irrigation, low pressure center pivot sprinklers, and flood irrigation practices to irrigate orchard grass, regar brome and alfalfa. This allows them to let the native pastures go unused until September 15. This practice reduces over grazing and provides more feed for their cattle herd during the winter months.
The Thalers own a feedlot and backgrounding operation and have also managed environmental challenges that come with owning both.
“The Thaler family makes progressive annual adjustments that have a long-lasting impact on the ranch’s sustainability,” says Petty. “That’s what this award is all about.
Consistently improving upon the improvements you have made in years past to better conserve our landscapes.”
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