• Event: Young Producers Ranching for Profit

    Join the Sandhills Task Force for a Ranching For Profit- Young Adult School July 11-15, 2022 at the Niobrara Valley Preserve in Johnstown NE.  The school will focus on setting the next generation up for success using RMC®’s time-proven methods tailored for 18-25-year-old current or prospective land managers, who are interested in developing the necessary business management and leadership skills to succeed in ranch management.  Participants will build peer-to-peer relationships, learn from an experienced instructor, interact with mentors, and visit innovative ranches.  This experience will take you to the next level in business and land management.

    Draft Agenda

    • Monday, July 11 – Arrive for evening meal and “get to know you” social
    • Tuesday, July 12 – ½ day classroom and ½ day ranch visit
    • Wednesday, July 13 – ½ day classroom and ½ day ranch visit
    • Thursday, July 14 – ½ day classroom and ½ day ranch visit
    • Friday, July 15 – ½ day wrap up and depart

    Location Driving Directions

    Address: Niobrara Valley Preserve, 42269 Morel Road, Johnstown, NE 69214

    • From Valentine: 29 Miles East on HWY 12; 8 Miles South on Norden Road
    • From Ainsworth: 9.5 miles West on HWY 20; 16 miles North on Norden Road

    Instructor Biography – John Locke, Ranch Management Consultants Instructor

    A six generation member of the JD Hudgins Inc Ranching operation on the Texas Gulf Coast, you might say John Locke has taken a conventional path into unconventional agricultural practices.  Growing up on a Registered Brahman seedstock operation that is known for sharing genetics across the southern United States and around the World, everything appeared to be on a path of “business as usual” after returning home upon graduating from Texas Tech in 2001, until a 200-year drought and a major family succession event forever changed the way Locke looked at the family business. 

    Somewhat starting over with less than half of your cow herd on ¼ of the land mass while still having most of the same expenses the previous business was responsible for, has a way of bringing about inevitable change and can be a blessing in disguise that almost makes it impossible to “do things the way we have always done them”.  Somewhere along the way Locke met Dave Pratt and attended the Ranching for Profit School and joined Executive Link, deepening the look into the business and ultimately life.

    On the surface, much of the 6 decades-old core business of Locke Division of JD Hudgins still looks the same, but with a deeper look, the changes have been many over the past 10 years.  While embracing innovation in adopting practices such as ultra-high density grazing, the main focus has been on learning and applying principles.  Making sure one is doing the right things before obsessing over doing things right.  Identifying and focusing on a clear business purpose that aligns with the person.  Learning how to see the economic picture of the business and using that lens to build resilience.  Understanding the whole and striving to balance ecological improvement, livestock performance, profit, and human resources in a way that focuses on quality of life for all involved.  In short, putting fun and financial reward into ranching while working to build a legacy that has a lasting impact that is independent of the physical assets the business will leave behind is the Locke family priority. 

    Working side by side with his father Coleman in the day-to-day management of their division, Locke also has been blessed to have been selected and trained as the 6th person to be an Instructor of the Ranching for Profit School. When he’s not too busy with the ranch or family commitments due to the activities of his three beautiful daughters Lauryn, Lyndsey, Lylee, and wife Salina, John teaches several of the week-long RFP schools a year, helps to facilitate Executive Link meetings, and serves consulting clients across the US.

  • 2022 Youth Range Camp

    The Nebraska Youth Range Camp consists of a dynamic curriculum that appeals to students with a wide array of interests including, but not limited to, rangeland management, conservation, ecology, animal science, and wildlife. With nearly 50 years to perfect and evolve this curriculum, every student, no matter what prior experience they have, will learn substantial information that will help them become more aware of Nebraska’s most prevalent land use. Rangelands cover nearly 50% of Nebraska and approximately 60% of the United States. These numbers convey the dominance of this land use, but recently there have been several political issues regarding the management of these rangelands which further emphasizes the reason it is imperative for us to educate the youth so we may enable them to become proficient and effective leaders in resource management as well as educated voters.

    The students that attend this camp will be actively involved with lectures, field activities, hands-on experience, and recreational leadership and team-building activities that are all led by up to 20 of Nebraska’s most respected and dedicated leaders, teachers, and professionals from various agencies, colleges, and universities. Each student will be sent home with a binder that is filled with educational materials. Must be 14-18 years old. —-COME JOIN US!!

    The 2022 Nebraska Youth Range Camp is scheduled for June 6-9, 2022 at the NCTA Curtis.

  • 2022 Planning for and Responding to Drought Workshops

    The Sandhills Task Force will host two evening workshops focusing on responding to and planning for drought conditions in the Sandhills. Dates and locations are as follows:

    • Wednesday, April 27 @ the Winter’s Building in Hyannis; 5:00-8:00 pm mountain time (a webinar option will be available upon request)
    • Thursday, April 28 @ the City Hall Building in Bassett; 5:00-8:00 pm central time

    Topics that will be discussed include drought data, rangeland response to drought, online tools for ranchers, livestock management options, and the development of a drought pan. A FREE meal will be provided at each location.

    For more information please contact Ashley Garrelts at 307-351-0935 or