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Farm Girl Journal Captures the Joy of Growing up on a Farm

Living in rural and small-town America is not a challenge, or a burden. I love living in a small town, having the ability to know my neighbors, and a genuine feeling of connectedness to the land and natural world. I can look out of my window at our garden, our flowers, the birds (and squirrels) at our birdfeeder. If that isn’t enough, in two minutes I can be in the countryside.

Shovel Dot Ranch: Conservation Profile

“I think each generation of our family has learned new ideas and new methods to help improve the productivity and health of the land,” said Homer Buell, who owns and manages Shovel Dot Ranch along with his family.

Shovel Dot is home to the fourth and fifth generations of the Buell family. Larry and his wife, Nickie, as well as Homer and his wife, Darla make their homes on the ranch, although they have divided the ranch between them. Their children, the fifth generation of Buells have now taken over the day-to-day management of the operation.

Wilson Ranch: Conservation Profile

Sitting in the office of his auto body shop, Max Wilson brings up satellite photographs of his land on Google Earth. Clicking through a decade of images, a dramatic change unfolds.

“We’re getting back to grass. In 10 years, I can see a lot of change,” he said, referring to the removal of eastern red cedar trees from his pastures. “Now it’s like a grassland instead of a forest.”

Supper Would Have to Wait

A day doesn’t go by when I don’t read an article or hear from some expert on the news about the importance of “making yourself a priority” and “taking care of you.” I imagine the people who come up with this stuff live a very different lifestyle than myself and others residing on a farm or ranch and in rural America.

Beel Ranch: Conservation Profile

The Beel brothers are third-generation stewards of their family ranch located on the Brown and Cherry County line in the Nebraska Sandhills. Started in 1937 by Henry O. Beel, ranch records reveal conservation practices were an early concern: soil and water planning, water placement, rotational grazing, and planting of tree groves began in the 1940s. Today conservation and range management continue to play a central role at the Beel Ranch.

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