The members of the Sandhills Task Force believe the best way to protect the Sandhills is to help empower the individual landowners. A producer’s livelihood is tied directly to the land, fostering an intimate relationship that isn’t easily duplicated.
This land is a unique ecosystem that is an important habitat for a variety of fish, birds, plants and wildlife, and it’s individual landowners are the strong backbone of the area’s ranching economy, and the viability of the numerous small communities scattered throughout the Sandhills are dependent on their success.
That is why we hope to help serve the men and women producers of our area and are excited to announce our newest outreach program:
To protect and enhance the Sandhills with profitable, enjoyable businesses.
Sandhills Stewards is a program designed to help bring our Sandhills producers the tools they need most to be successful. Ultimately it is a network of producers throughout the Sandhills that share common values that use those values to help shape the culture of our area. We believe that strong communities and local connections are the most effective way to implement the changes that we want to see around us.
~Share and spread our enthusiasm for stewardship of the unique natural resources of our area.
~Understand the challenges of the producers in our area and help bring them the ideas, tools, and resources they need most to be successful.
~Encourage connection and strong community engagement to make sure that the Sandhill region remains a strong and independent region in our great state.
Here is a video to give a brief explanation of the Sandhills Task Force and our newest program Sandhills Stewards.
Meet our Stewardship Coordinator
My name is Ty Walker and I am excited to be the newest member of the Sandhills Task Force team. I look forward to helping our area producers identify and address the problems in their operations as they work to manage our natural resources with enjoyable and profitable businesses.
Learn more about how we hope to help our
Mitchell Stephenson, UNL Range Management Specialist
~Stephenson has been with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as an assistant professor in rangeland ecology and management at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center since 2015. His research is in grazing livestock distribution, targeted grazing, social association dynamics within cattle herds, and rangeland resilience on private ranches. He is developing an excellent record in scientific journal publications and leading workshops at professional meetings.
Brock Terrell, Hay Springs area Rancher/ Operator
~Brock is a producer on a family ranch in the Hay Springs area. The Terrell family has a reputation as being both great examples of innovative production ranching, as well as being respected for their community involvement.
A.B. Cox, Sandhills Rancher/ Operator and 2008 LEOPOLD CONSERVATION AWARD RECIPIENT
~A.B. Cox is a third generation Sandhill rancher. His family has been ranching in Cherry County for more than a century. He and his daughter, Scout, manage their cow/calf/yearling Calf Creek and 4-O Ranches.
Shelly Kelly, Sandhills Task Force Executive Director
~Shelly has been with the Sandhill Task Force since 2014 and as Executive Director she is responsible for promoting the STF as well as acquiring grants and funds for projects, coordinating with partner agencies/groups, and has an extensive knowledge of the ERC encroachment on the Sandhills.
Shane Terrell, DVM, PhD – Feedlot Veterinary Consultant for Production Animal Consultation
~Shane is a Feedlot Veterinary Consultant for Production Animal Consultation and he understands the value of Low Stress Livestock Handling and the direct correlation between proper livestock handling and the opportunity to improve our business’s bottom line by improving our livestock’s performance.
Kip Lukasiewicz, DVM – Feedlot Veterinary Consultant for Production Animal Consultation
~Kip is a colleague of Shane’s and is also a Feedlot Veterinary Consultant for Production Animal Consultation.
Alex McKeirnan, Owner/ Operator of Robinette Farms in Martell, Nebraska.
~For Alex McKiernan and his wife Chloe, farming is about more than making a living—it’s caring about good food for healthy people and a healthy environment. They grow 40 varieties of crops during both the warm and cool seasons.