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Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers are everyday environmentalists

The Gray family taking the cattle to a new pasture. By using rotational grazing, they increase the production of the grasses and increases plant diversification and health. Rotational grazing is good for the land and the livestock.

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Kearney, Neb. – Western Nebraska ranchers Rod and Laura Gray know what it means to care for their animals and the land that they live on. The Gray family has roots back to 1898 in the cattle business, Rod and Laura’s five children are the sixth generation to raise cattle. Not only is their ranch home to over 600 head of Registered Angus cattle, but it is home to wildlife such as antelope, mule deer, bald eagles, burrowing owls, and even a Swift fox now and then.

“In celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, we want to thank Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers for being environmental stewards of the land and animals,” says Lisa Brass, Director of Industry Relations for the Nebraska Beef Council. “The steps they take to improve the environment aren’t new; like Earth Day, they have been around for many decades. In fact, as long as cattle have been raised on the land, farm families have worked to protect and enhance our environment.”

Farmers and ranchers embrace techniques to conserve the land for future generations. For example, Rod and Laura have their land portioned off in half section and section pastures (one section equals one square mile). They rotate the cattle through the sections, resting one or two sections each year. This helps increase production of the grasses and increases plant diversification and health. Rotational grazing will improve the overall condition of the land. “We want to leave the land for the next generation in better condition than we found it,” says Rod.

Some of the other resource conservation strategies the Grays use include irrigating at night so that there is less evaporation. A meter is used on irrigation pivots so that crops receive optimal, but not wasteful, amounts of water. The Gray family, like many farming and ranching families, work with their local extension educator, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Wyoming, South Dakota State University, and other conservation groups to ensure they are protecting the land and the livestock they raise.

Today’s cattlemen provide more people with safe, nutritious beef products using fewer natural resources than in the past. Today each American farmer feeds about 144 people worldwide, and they’ll need to feed even more in the future. Experts estimate global food production will need to increase 70 percent by 2050 to feed a growing world population.

For more information on how Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers care for their land and animals log onto http://www.explorebeef.org.

Kearney, Neb. – Western Nebraska ranchers Rod and Laura Gray know what it means to care for their animals and the land that they live on. The Gray family has roots back to 1898 in the cattle business, Rod and Laura’s five children are the sixth generation to raise cattle. Not only is their ranch home to over 600 head of Registered Angus cattle, but it is home to wildlife such as antelope, mule deer, bald eagles, burrowing owls, and even a Swift fox now and then.

“In celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, we want to thank Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers for being environmental stewards of the land and animals,” says Lisa Brass, Director of Industry Relations for the Nebraska Beef Council. “The steps they take to improve the environment aren’t new; like Earth Day, they have been around for many decades. In fact, as long as cattle have been raised on the land, farm families have worked to protect and enhance our environment.”

Farmers and ranchers embrace techniques to conserve the land for future generations. For example, Rod and Laura have their land portioned off in half section and section pastures (one section equals one square mile). They rotate the cattle through the sections, resting one or two sections each year. This helps increase production of the grasses and increases plant diversification and health. Rotational grazing will improve the overall condition of the land. “We want to leave the land for the next generation in better condition than we found it,” says Rod.

Some of the other resource conservation strategies the Grays use include irrigating at night so that there is less evaporation. A meter is used on irrigation pivots so that crops receive optimal, but not wasteful, amounts of water. The Gray family, like many farming and ranching families, work with their local extension educator, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Wyoming, South Dakota State University, and other conservation groups to ensure they are protecting the land and the livestock they raise.

Today’s cattlemen provide more people with safe, nutritious beef products using fewer natural resources than in the past. Today each American farmer feeds about 144 people worldwide, and they’ll need to feed even more in the future. Experts estimate global food production will need to increase 70 percent by 2050 to feed a growing world population.

For more information on how Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers care for their land and animals log onto http://www.explorebeef.org.


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