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Conservation Profile - Gates Angus Ranch | EQIP Success Story

Conservation Profile - Gates Angus Ranch

Gates family"In the midst of change" best describes the operations of the Gates Angus Ranch. With a calculator in his hand, the economic and ecological future of the ranch in his mind and his family at heart, Chan Gates manages a 14,700-acre ranching operation in the Red Hills region of south-central Kansas. Finding ways to strengthen the ranching business, improving the health of the native range, and increasing time with his family are all objectives of Chan’s management style.

The rugged landscapes and biological diversity of this mixed grass region require unique management. Periods of drought are frequent and demand dedication to a drought contingency plan. During times of drought, Chan implements the contingency plan in an attempt to protect the native grass resource and to reduce negative financial impacts on the ranch business.

Chan uses a management-intensive grazing program that includes significant periods of rest for the native grass during the growing season. He also maintains a prescribed burning program to control the undesirable invasion of eastern red cedar trees. The invading trees threaten the productivity of the native range and negatively impact the native wildlife species. The NRCS provided - and continues to provide -- extensive technical assistance to Chan with the management of his land and resources.

Lesser prairie chickens and Arkansas darters are some of the many native wildlife that reside on the ranch. Other wildlife species on the ranch include deer, bobcats, turkey, quail, pheasant, dove, coyotes, rabbits, badgers, hawks and colorful lizards. Chan works closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on management plans to protect and enhance the wildlife species.

Gates Angus RanchWith a desire to share and educate, Chan has allowed students and teachers on the ranch for the opportunity of "learning on the land." Several graduate students from a state university have used the ranch to conduct their ecological research projects.

Along with sharing his knowledge and experiences, Chan acknowledges his own need to continue to learn. Therefore, he schedules the time to attend educational opportunities pertaining to the management of the ranch business and the native range. Chan recognizes that the native range ecosystem is complex and he is humbled with the vast knowledge still to gain from the land.

Conservation At A Glance
Practices Used ... Programs Used ...
  • Prescribed Grazing (rest-rotation and early intensive)
  • Brush Management (mechanical)
  • Prescribed Burning
  • Water Facility
  • Livestock Pipeline
  • Fencing
  • Range Planting
  • Upland Wildlife Habitat Management
  • Drought Contingency Planning
Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Technical Assistance
  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

  • Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program

Various state programs

This story is also available for download and requires Acrobat Reader.

Conservation Profile - Winter 2006 (PDF; 443 KB)