Wayne & Joan Hansmeier, Kingsley Cattle Co. of Keystone, Nebraska
Wayne and Joan Hansmeier, owners of Kingsley Cattle Company, purchased their Keystone, Nebraska ranch in 1987 from Terry and Chris McGinley and Bill and Jane Walker. With the help of the cost-share program with Twin Platte Natural Resources District, the Hansmeier’s have planted trees almost every year since purchasing the property. During the first few years, they planted trees and used water conservation mulch to build a windbreak for livestock. It became a struggle to get this windbreak established due to drought and rodent damage, so the Hansmeier’s shortened the grove and transplanted some of the trees.
In 1999, they planted Rocky Mountain Junipers around an irrigated pivot circle, using water conservation mulch and the end gun from the pivot to water the trees. When Wayne and Joan’s son, Harry Coble, moved to the North place, they tore out an old grove of trees and replaced them with new Rocky Mountain Junipers with water conservation mulch and a drip system, and also planted native grass between the rows of the new trees. The following year they planted another windbreak south of Harry’s house, which also included water conservation mulch and a drip system. Over the years, the Hansmeier’s have planted approximately 4,000 trees which have been cost-shared under the Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation Program (NSWCP) and the Twin Platte Natural Resources District.
An old grove of Chinese Elm trees directly north of Wayne and Joan’s house were removed and replaced with Junipers, again using the water conservation mulch and drip system. The Hansmeier’s have discovered that in this sandy soil, a drip system for new trees is essential for a healthy windbreak. Wayne and Joan rely on two couples to help them maintain the tree windbreaks. Larry and Karie Young and Doug and Sherrie Dunham do most of the transplanting of the trees and keeping the area free from weeds in exchange for hunting privileges near the river. Wayne and Joan would like to say thank you for all of their hard work in helping Kingsley Cattle Company in their conservation efforts.