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Summer grazing land tour to be held in Chase County PDF Print E-mail

This year’s Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition (NGLC)  and Nebraska Cattlemen’s (NC) joint summer grazing tour will be held in Chase County Tuesday, June 10.
The tour will feature three long standing Southwest Nebraska ranches and one commercial feed yard in the Imperial and Wauneta areas.
The ranches include Maddux Cattle Company, Wine Glass Ranch Inc., Kuenning and Son LLC, and Imperial Beef feed yard.
The tour offers the opportunity to learn from some of the most experienced grazers and one of the most progressive feedlots in Nebraska.
They will relate their unique incorporation of grazing techniques and time-tested managerial practices that make their operations work.
Lunches will be provided. The day concludes with an evening beef dinner featuring a panel discussion of the owners from the tour stops.
Registration fee is $25 per person and can be paid upon arrival. Preregistration is required for meal counts by contacting the Nebraska Cattlemen at 402-475-2333 or 308-882-4002 (evenings) by May 31.   
The Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition is an independent organization of ranchers, interest groups, and agencies. Their mission is to collaborate on projects that improve the management and health of Nebraska grazing lands and ensure long-term stability of rangeland resources.
The NGLC is funded through grants from the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Nebraska Environmental Trust, and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA.
Nebraska Cattlemen is a grassroots organization whose individual producer members determine issues of importance to the Nebraska beef industry.
The mission of Nebraska Cattlemen is to work for Nebraska beef producers—pasture to plate.
NC also represents the beef cattle industry to the legislative and administrative branches of state and federal governments.
Here’s a brief summary of the entities featured on this year’s tour.
Maddux Cattle Company
Maddux Cattle is a cow-calf and yearling cattle operation. Taylor and Clara Maddux homesteaded the ranch in 1886, 11 miles north of Wauneta on the Stinking Water Creek. The ranch has grown today to encompass 40,000 acres of owned and leased land that sustains 2,500 mother cows and 5,000 yearlings.
Native range consists of sandhills and hard land canyons that are part of the watersheds of three creeks that run through the ranch.
The operation has approximately 1,800 irrigated and 600 dryland farming acres, the balance being native grass, some of which is subirrigated meadows.
Jack and John Maddux, the third and fourth-generation owner/operators of the ranch, manage the operation. Harlow Hill has been the ranch foreman for the past 35 years.
Wine Glass Ranch Inc.
In 1888 Sherman McCoy walked the last 30 miles from the western most rail stop to what would become the Wine Glass Ranch. The fourth and fifth generations, Jeff Pribbeno and son Logan, continue the tradition of stewardship.
The Wine Glass Ranch Inc. developed a rotational grazing program that utilizes 60 paddocks and 200 miles of water lines. Simplicity is key and accordingly, cows calve on summer range with minimal observation.
Farming techniques have also evolved to include no-till and variable crop rotations. Residue grazing and cover crop applications allow for ranching and farming operations to overlap.
Kuenning & Son LLC
Jerry and Kathy Kuenning’s family ranching/farming and feedlot operation date back to the 1920s when Kuenning’s grandfather, Ernest Schroeder, came to Perkins County.
This operation originated in 1945  by Jerry’s folks, Wilber and Doris Kuenning, with land added in 1973 from Ernest.  Jerry joined the partnership in 1975.
Within the last five years Wilber, Jerry and Kathy have been joined in the operation  by son Brandon and his wife Kelly, daughter Kory and her husband Nick Fowler and their families.  
The operation consists of a cow-calf herd, a grower operation and a custom feedlot.  Additionally, they farm together and raise irrigated and dryland corn, beans, wheat and alfalfa.  The primary use of their owned and rented pasture land is for the cow-calf herd.
They use a rotational grazing program consisting of 3 ranch units with 5-6 pastures in each unit.   They will move the cows to cornstalks as soon as the harvest permits.
Imperial Beef
Imperial Beef is a nationally recognized and established feed yard committed to excellence and helping provide some of the nation’s best beef.
Imperial Beef strives to help local farmers and ranchers maximize profits through many available programs.
Imperial Beef has continually upgraded facilities and equipment to meet the ever changing needs of the cattle feeding industry.
Imperial Beef’s tradition of excellence continues with a steadfast commitment to its employees, the community, animal and land preservation, advanced feeding technology, gain efficiency, and the production of quality beef.