77 Ranch Honored with Outstanding Rangeland Stewardship Award
story by The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) today awarded the 77 Ranch the 2012 Outstanding Rangeland Stewardship award during the 135th annual TSCRA convention. The award is the highest stewardship honor from TSCRA and the Texas Section, Society for Range Management (TSSRM).
"We are proud to honor longtime TSCRA members Gary and Sue Price of 77 Ranch with this prestigious award," said Joe Parker Jr., Rancher and TSCRA President. "Gary and Sue's knowledge of cattle production and ranch management combined with their passion for conservation is an excellent example of today's agriculture stewardship."
Jeff Goodwin, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Grazingland Conservation Initiative (GLCI) State Specialist said that the 77 Ranch is the exemplary model of rangeland management and restoration in the Blackland Prairie. Gary has implemented a comprehensive rangeland management program to optimize rangeland conditions on the ranch. Rangeland and reseeding has also been a key practice on the ranch. Wildlife habitat management and water quality have also been areas where Gary and Sue have worked to sustainably manage.
Price's leadership has expanded beyond traditional cattle and ranching roles. He played a pivotal role in the development of the Western Navarro Bobwhite Restoration Initiative-a coop of landowners who are managing approximately 30,000 acres with the goal of enhancing bobwhite quail habitat and populations.
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, the 77 Ranch encompasses about 2,160 acres in Navarro County. Almost all of it, about 1,730 acres, is in native range or woodlands, with about 200 acres of cropland and about 90 acres of non-native grass pasture. About 40 acres of small ponds and lakes provide habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife. Gary and Sue Price have been ranching in the area since 1976 when they acquired their first ranch near the town of Blooming Grove, Texas.
The TSSRM/TSCRA Outstanding Rangeland Stewardship Award is an opportunity for TSCRA to partner with a scientific society to honor TSCRA members who are expending remarkable efforts to improve and manage range and pasture lands and the resources, livestock and wildlife the lands support.
77 Ranch will now compete for the regional stewardship award sponsored by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA).
The Price family of the 77 Ranch was presented with the Outstanding Rangeland Stewardship award during the opening general session. Pictured from left to right are TSCRA First Vice President, Clay Birdwell; TSCRA Second Vice President, Pete Bonds; Gary Price; Sue Price; Gary Lee Price; TSCRA President, Joe Parker Jr.; and TSCRA Natural Resources Committee Chairman, Joe Leathers. This award is co-presented each year with the Texas Section, Society for Range Management. (Photo courtesy of TSCRA)