1997 Outstanding Grassland Award for Lincoln-McPherson Counties

Kelly Ranch

Sutherland, Nebraska

The Kelly Ranch of Sutherland, Nebraska was named winner of the 1997 Twin Platte Natural Resources Districts Conservation Award. The Kelly Family has steadily made improvements to their ranch over the years, by being committed to the needs of natural resources in their care. They have initiated conservation practices on their own, and have also participated in the Agriculture Conservation Program and Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation Program. Not only have range conditions improved for livestock, but also wildlife has benefitted. The ranch is home to mule and whitetail deer, pheasants, quail, grouse, turkey, and a few antelope. The Kelly's have fenced off their land from the North Platte River to keep cattle from the river to improve water quality and to prevent streambank erosion.

Over 11,000 trees have been planted for livestock protection and wildlife. The first windbreaks were planted in the late 1930's. The tree planting tradition continues, with the addition of drip irrigation and water conservation mulch to increase survival. A windbreak renovation project was completed at the home ranch. The Kelly's received the American Tree Farm Service Award in 1988.