Frimann Family Farm of Lincoln County, Nebraska
Steve and Sharon Frimann began planting trees a few years after purchasing their home and rangeland in northeast Lincoln County. The initial planting of 560 trees and shrubs were planted under the Twin Platte NRD Conservation Trees Program in 1998. A combination of Austrian Pine, Jack Pine, Eastern Red Cedar, and Rocky Mountain Juniper were added to existing Cedar windbreaks as additional rows. Shrub plantings included Cotoneaster, Sumac, Sand Cherry, Choke Cherry, and Lilac. All trees and shrubs were planted into a prepared bed with water conservation mulch and drip tape installed under the fabric.
Whitewater Ranch / Stewart Allen Family of Lincoln County, Nebraska
Whitewater, Inc. operates ranching interests in the Sandhills of Arthur and McPherson Counties. The ranch was established in 1884 and is owned and operated by Stewart and Kathy Allen, Mark Allen, Matt and Audra Allen, and their children Kegan, Kaleb, and Kirsten. Stewart and Kathy manage the business headquarters in Lincoln County. Matt and Audra live at Three Mile Ranch and their children represent the seventh generation of the ranching family. The ranch maintains a cow herd, and the majority of the calves are sold as yearlings.
John & Maureen Childears of Northern Lincoln County, Nebraska
In 1992, John & Maureen Childears purchased farmland in northeast Lincoln County. That same year, they repaired the 1954 irrigation well (concrete casing) and repaired/replaced two pivot systems. In the spring of 1993, two pivot corners (Valentine Sand) were planted to trees and shrubs, with fabric mulch for the trees but not the shrubs. These plantings were assisted, guided, and cost-shared by the Twin Platte Natural Resources District. In addition, one corner was placed in a 10 year contract with the Nebraska Game and Parks. This corner included seeding to warm season grasses and native wildflowers, Rocky Mountain Juniper, and a variety of shrubs. Both 1993 and 1994 were very wet years. Plenty of rain and two hand weedings each year resulted in an excellent survival rate. However, the shrub survival without mulch was only two-thirds successful.
Rocky & Diane Hoffman of North Platte, Nebraska
In 1978, Rocky and Diane Hoffmann purchased an acreage 10 miles south of North Platte. The tract was part of the old Hunter property, and a neighbor remembers planting corn with a horse-drawn planter on the site in the late 1920’s. Later, during the dust bowl years, the fields that he had worked with horse and planter blew into a huge sand dune. In the late 1930’s, Hunter planted a few rows of Cottonwoods he had pulled from the South Platte River to control the blowing sand. Most of those Cottonwoods had died by the time the Hoffmanns had moved onto the acreage, but remnant survivors of that original planting symbolized hard work with a shovel and a bucket to conserve the fragile soil. Those old Cottonwoods triggered a plan for a new planting. The wind blew constantly during July when the house was being constructed, and the Hoffmann’s were determined to temper the harsh environment.
Skip and Eileen Marland & Schaeffer Family Farms of North Platte, Nebraska
In the fall of 1979, Skip and Eileen Marland purchased a half section of sandhills valley land from Levi and Amelia Powell, approximately nine miles northeast of North Platte. This was in conjunction with a full section of land selling at public auction that Mr. and Mrs. Powell had owned from 1947 to 1979.
Dave and Denise Manary of North Platte, Nebraska
Dave and Denise Manary operate a ranch 10 miles northwest of North Platte. Ranching is not their primary business, as Dave has been a dentist since 1971, practicing in North Platte for 21 years. Denise is a Certified Dental Technician with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, and has worked in their dental office for the past 18 years. Dave’s grandparents ranched near where Dave and Denise now live, and a portion of that ranch now belongs to Dave and Denise. When Dave was a youngster visiting his grandparents ranch, he frequently admired the nearby ranch of Fred and Nellie Jackson. The Jackson property was especially appealing to Dave because of the numerous trees and the six acre spring fed pond. The pond is the headwaters of the White Horse Creek. As a young man, Dave hoped to someday own the Jackson place, a goal he never forgot.
Ray and Anita Hengen of North Platte, Nebraska
Ray and Anita Hengen are involved in a farming operation eight miles northeast of North Platte. Ray’s dad, Clarence Hengen, purchased the farm in the mid 1940’s. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, the Hengen family began hand planting 500 Eastern Red Cedar trees for windbreak establishment. The family’s ultimate goal was to provide protection for their livestock, as well as providing protection for the farmstead. Upon Clarence’s death in 1988, Ray and his mother, Ella, assumed the responsibility of ownership and operation of the farm. After years of improvements, the Hengen’s own and operate 800 acres, consisting of 85 acres in the Conservation Reserve Program and 715 acres in rangeland.