Leopold Conservation Award Program - Nebraska 2018

Nebraska 2018 RuJoDen Ranch Chadron, NE Leopold Conservation Award Recipient

The O’Rourkes have implemented a variety of conservation practices to their land that has been in their family since 1950.

Previously cultivated fields have been seeded with perennial grasses to stabilize and rebuild soil health. A greater diversity of trees and shrubs, along with improved habitat for fish and wildlife, have resulted from effective grazing practices along the Chadron Creek. A ponderosa pine forest was thinned to improve tree health and reduce the risk of wildfires.

The O’Rourkes have explored multiple ways for smaller-acreage farms and ranches to diversify their income streams, including beekeeping, pasture raised poultry, a horse motel, and renting land for hunting.   

The O’Rourkes rent overnight stays in historic sheep herder wagons. This unique type of agritourism allows guests to hunt, fish, hike or simply unplug from the modern world. 

RuJoDen Ranch

Beef Butte Nb 18

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