1997 - Graduate of Chadron State College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Range Management.
I began my career with NRCS working as a WAE in Sidney. During college I worked as a student trainee in Imperial. After graduation I worked in North Platte and then Ogallala as a rangeland management specialist. In 2004, I returned to Sidney to become the District Conservationist.
The staff in the South Platte NRD consists of Resource Conservationists, Soil Conservationist, Soil Conservation Technicians, Civil Engineering Technician, and District Secretaries. This team is responsible for conservation efforts in Kimball, Cheyenne, and Deuel Counties.
The South Platte NRD is located in the southern Panhandle of Nebraska. The area consists of Kimball, Cheyenne, and Deuel Counties, and encompasses 1.65 million acres. The district is bordered by Wyoming and Colorado. Two distinct regions characterize the area, the rolling “Upland Plains” and Lodgepole Creek and the South Platte River comprise the “Platte Valley Lowlands.” Annual precipitation ranges from 14 to 18 inches annually.
Agriculture dominates the economy with 1.1 million acres of dryland cropland. Wheat, millet, and corn are the primary crops. Irrigated crops consist of corn, dry beans, sugar beets, sunflowers, and alfalfa. Rangeland is the other major resource in the district which is utilized primarily for beef cattle production.
Ground water is a vital resource to the District. Domestic, municipal, and industrial water use is strictly from groundwater in the Brule and Ogallala Formations. Irrigation water is primarily from groundwater, however surface water is diverted from the South Platte River into the Western Irrigation Canal for use in the southeast part of the district.
Wind erosion on cropland is the major environmental concern on cropland. Conservation crop rotations and tillage systems are widely used throughout the district. Many producers continue to install terrace systems to address water erosion concerns as well.
The Conservation Reserve Program has also been widely used to address the wind erosion concerns but to also benefit wildlife habitat needs. Numerous species have benefited due to the increase in permanent cover, but work continues to focus on habitat diversity, cover, food and water.
Water quantity and quality are major concerns being addressed as well. NRCS is working closely with the South Platte Natural Resources District and local irrigators to address these concerns through irrigation water management practices and nutrient management.
Short and mixed grass prairies are the main rangeland and pastureland ecosystem seen in the district. These rangelands are managed through planned grazing systems. Water developments are commonly used improve grazing distribution. Recently, many cooperators have planted cropland to grass for additional forage in their grazing system.