Nebraska Cattlemen and Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition Team Up to Host Summer Grazing Tour

Mark your calendars for the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition (NGLC) –Nebraska Cattlemen (NC) joint Summer Grazing Tour scheduled for June 10, 2014 in southwestern Nebraska.

The tour will involve three long standing Southwest Nebraska ranches and one commercial feedyard in the Imperial and Wauneta areas including the Maddux Cattle Company, Wine Glass Ranch Inc. Kuenning and Son, Inc and Imperial Beef.

Maddux Cattle Co. is a cow-calf and yearling cattle operation located in southwest Nebraska. 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.

Replacement heifers and cows are bred to calve in April and May. Cow-calf pairs summer on native range, calves are weaned in the early fall, and wintered in backgrounding facilities or winter-grazed with supplementation of distillers' wet grains. All calves, with the exception of home-raised replacement heifers and bulls, go to leased grass in the spring. Steers and heifers are marketed off grass each August as 900-pound (lb.) yearlings.

After weaning, cows are winter-grazed on leased cornstalks from November through mid-March. Cows are then driven back home to native range roughly one month before calving. In this system, the Maddux cow herd has a full 12-month grazing system with no hay or supplement fed to the mature cow herd. Some strategic protein supplementation is used for first-calf heifers precalving and prebreeding.

The cow herd is a maternal composite of five breeds: Red Angus, Tarentaise, Red Poll, South Devon and Devon. Cows are British in body type and production levels. Breed selection is aligned with year-round grazing and the low-input system of the ranch.  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 4th and 5th generations, Jeff Pribbeno and son Logan, continue the tradition of stewardship.

The Wine Glass Ranch Inc. developed rotational grazing program 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.

The most recent enterprise brought guided-hunting on thousands of acres of managed wildlife habitat in order to get more folks out onto the great American prairie.

Ranching, farming, and hunting form an integrated agriculture system that have enabled production that was unimaginable in Sherman's day, but the principal remains the same -- careful, sustainable, progressive management of a precious resource.

Kuenning & Son LLC

Jerry & Kathy Kuenning would like to welcome you to their family ranching/farming & feedlot operation.  Jerry’s grandfather Ernest Schroeder, came to Perkins County in the early 1920’s.  This operation, originated by Wilber & Doris Kuenning in 1945 with land added in 1973 from Ernest.  Jerry came into the partnership in 1975.   Within the last five years Wilber, Jerry & his wife Kathy have been joined by son Brandon and his wife Kelly R., daughter Kory and her husband Nick Fowler and 3 very active grandchildren Luke, Lily and Hayden Lucy.  Their youngest daughter Kelly K. is a nursing student in Lincoln.

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.  The main cow herd is a crossbred Angus base with some black Simmental influence.  Kuennings calve in March with a smaller fall herd calving in late August.  They A.I. their 1st calf heifers and a base herd of cows.  They keep replacement bulls and heifers from that set of cows.  The Kuennings drill the irrigated wheat ground to triticale immediately after harvest.  They graze the triticale in early fall with stockers and with cow-calf pairs in early spring.  The cows move on to native pasture mid-May through October depending on grass conditions. Their calves are weaned in mid-August in normal grazing years and as early as July 15th in drought years.  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.

The weaned calves are moved to the feedlot and worked up on feed to maximize potential in the April/May marketing months.  The feedlot retains ownership of their raised calves.  They privately purchase other feeders and custom feed for several Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming ranches.

Imperial Beef, located 12 miles north and 1½ miles east of Imperial, NE, is a nationally recognized and established feedyard 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. Great pride is taken in the quality of employees and personnel as Imperial Beef strives to provide its customers with the best possible experience imaginable. 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.

Do not miss this opportunity to learn from some of the most experienced grazers and one of the most progressive feedlots in Nebraska as they 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. Come and learn more about the activities of the NGLC and NC. 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.