Board Members

Sandhills Task Force Board members are selected in accordance to established bylaws. Nine of the members are associated with ranching while the other six are non-ranchers. Board members serve life-long terms or until they chose to resign.

STF Board Members

  • Jack Andersen – Lakeside, NE – County Commissioner
  • Ben Bailey – Lakeside, NE – Rancher
  • Melody Benjamin – Lakeside, NE – Rancher
  • Homer Buell, Vice President – Bassett, NE – Rancher/Nebraska Cattlemen
  • Doug Christensen – Lincoln, NE – Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Barb Cooksley – Anselmo, NE – Rancher
  • A. B. Cox, President – Mullen, NE – Rancher
  • Kenny Dinan – Alma, NE – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Eric Hansen – North Platte, NE – Rancher
  • Bethany Johnston – Thedford, NE – Rancher
  • Mike Kelly – North Platte,NE – Rancher
  • Ted LaGrange – Lincoln, NE – Nebraska Game & Parks Commission
  • Tim McAbee – Hyannis, NE – Rancher
  • John Ravenscroft – Nenzel, NE – Rancher
  • Dave Sands – Lincoln, NE – Nebraska Land Trust
  • Vacant


  • Shelly Kelly – Program Director
    • Growing up on a family Sandhill ranching and farming operation near Brewster helped Shelly gain a sincere appreciation for the Sandhills ecosystem and the associated ranching industry. A college degree in Range Science from South Dakota State University and previous employment with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as Range Management Specialist in North Platte and other locations allowed her to gain new perspectives about ranching and conservation and how the two can fit together. She has a passion to ensure ranching remains viable in the Sandhills and that the grassland remains intact. To do this, Shelly has established a broad network of peers, professionals, and ranchers that can all work together to achieve the common goal of conserving our natural resources while remaining profitable and maintaining the ranching way of life.Shelly started working for the Sandhills Task Force in 2014 and operates out of her home. She is responsible to promote the Sandhills Task Force, acquire grants and funds for projects, coordinate with partner agencies/groups, and oversee all projects. Shelly and her husband Dan live and work on Dan’s 4th generation family ranch near Sutherland.
  • Tad Judge – Project Coordinator