- Associated Press - Friday, April 18, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A central Nebraska ranching family has won a statewide award for its land stewardship efforts.

The 2014 Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award was given to the Pelster family, owners of the Pelster Angus Ranch in Ericson. Gov. Dave Heineman announced the winners on Friday.

Duane and Nancy Pelster are third-generation owners of the ranch. Their practices include rest-rotational grazing, which has been shown to enhance wildlife. The family also has planted nearly 80,000 coniferous trees to provide shelterbelts and windbreaks, and decommissioned 27 wells to improve water quality.

The award is named in honor of world-renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, and includes $10,000 and a crystal. The award is presented annually by the Sand County Foundation, the Nebraska Cattlemen and Cargill.



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