Roric and Deb Paulman of Lincoln County, Nebraska

PaulmanIn 1985, Roric and Deb Paulman left Omaha and returned to the family farm in Sutherland, Nebraska. Shortly after they returned, Roric’s father unexpectedly passed away. They were a young couple with two babies, thrown into a whirlwind. Out of the fog emerged Paulman Farms; a custom farming operation. They have, with the help of many, grown their operation to look as it does today.

Conservation, you had to have your plan approved; “highly erodible,” “farmable wetlands,” all became part of your vocabulary if you were to qualify for program compliance. Habitat management captured acres. It was a natural fit to integrate the same kind of thinking to all of the acres. Recently, a good friend of the Paulman’s said, “good conservation will not happen without economic benefit”. With those words echoing in the background, many of the initiatives on their farm in water and land resource management can be quantified in energy and input cost savings.

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James Fleecs Family of Lincoln County, Nebraska

FleecsAfter returning home from the service in 1970, Jim Fleecs began farming and ranching with his brother, Lloyd. Jim started his own cow/calf and yearling operation in 1987. Through the years, the ranch has added and upgraded multiple livestock watering systems and cross fenced pastures. All of this has enabled the ranch to run larger numbers of cattle for shorter time frames as part of a rotational grazing plan, which has led to improved range conditions, plant diversity, and additional wildlife habitat.

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Don & Marcia Colvin of North Platte, Nebraska

ColvinIn the spring of 1975, Don and Marcia Colvin began their farming operation in the Platte River Valley area, located five miles west and two miles north of North Platte, Nebraska. In 1981, they purchased the farm where they now reside. The primary crops of their farming operation include irrigated corn and alfalfa. Conventional farming practices have been replaced over the years with minimum and no-till methods.

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Larry & Phyllis Kracman of North Platte, Nebraska

KracmanLarry and Phyllis Kracman were married in 1966 and lived in Gothenburg, Nebraska. At that time, Larry’s lifelong practices of good conservation really began to take hold. Phyllis was a schoolteacher north of Gothenburg, and Larry farmed some of the family ground. In 1967 Larry and Phyllis started Kracman Fertilizer Inc. at Brady. This well known fertilizer business was a labor of love for Larry and Phyllis. They operated the business for 23 years, with Larry as the owner/manager, and Phyllis as the bookkeeper. In 1980 they purchased their home north of Brady, where they planted hundreds of trees. At this time, Larry realized that he would not live there forever, but the trees would be there long after he was gone.

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Richard & Elaine Bode of North Platte, Nebraska

bodeIn April of 1978, Richard and Elaine Bode began their farming operation located three miles south and three miles west of Hershey, in partnership with Elaine’s parents, Orval and Frieda Einspahr. Orval and Frieda retired in 1984. Elaine’s grandparents, Fred and Ruby Hackbarth, had originally owned the land. Rick farmed with his family and worked as a well driller for Staska Well Drilling Co. at Albion, Nebraska, before he and Elaine moved to the Hershey area.

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Melvin & Faye Bayne of Hershey, Nebraska

Currently, the farming operation consists of 460 total acres. The cropland includes 350 acres of irrigated corn and 100 acres of irrigated alfalfa. Conservation work, which has been or is being utilized, includes 350 acres of minimum tillage, with 450 acres of proper treatment of cropland.

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