Leopold Conservation Award Program - Nebraska 2006

Nebraska 2006 Wilson Ranch Lakeside, NE Leopold Conservation Award Recipient

Wilson Ranch, located northeast of Lakeside in the Nebraska Sandhills, is a fifth-gen­eration operation owned and managed by brothers Blaine and Bryan Wilson. The ranch consists of over 15,000 acres and over 1,100 head of cattle. The Wilson Ranch is a terrific example of economic viability co-existing with sustained conservation practices.

The Wilsons primarily raised Herefords until the late 1970’s when they began to crossbreed their cattle, leading to the development of a genetic program based on quality cattle that perform in the pasture, feedlot, and on the rail.

Today, Wilsonred genetics are in high demand. The Wilsons’ conservation efforts include the development of a “wildlife pasture” with windbreaks and drip systems used solely for habitat protection. They developed a wetland area that has seen the return of several bird species. The family also stocks fish and works to keep the deer population controlled.

“The longevity of their operation and the constant improvement and growth are a testament to their commitment,” said Ben Steffen, Vice President, Steffen Ag Inc. “In today’s world of underachievement, the Wilson Ranch stands as a shining example of the value of sustained effort and stewardship.”

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