Lowery Land & Livestock Wins NRD Tree Planting Award

Sandy Lowery is congratulated on the 2014 NARD Tree Planter of the Year Award by Lower Loup NRD Board Chairman Gary Kruse of Columbus and NRD General Manager Leon "Butch" Koehlmoos. 

Lowery Land and Livestock of Burwell has been awarded the Nebraska Outstanding Tree Planting Award for 2014.  The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts presents the award annually to honor and promote conservation tree planting in the state. 

Sandy Lowery and her son, Matthew, planted 3,323 conservation trees in 2014, bringing the total planted on the ranch to 40,446 trees since 1975.

Sandy, Matt, and Sandy’s late husband, Zeke, have been responsible for hand-planting the trees on their ranch north of Burwell.  The trees helped to create livestock and farmstead windbreaks, sometimes ten rows deep.  Lowery said that trees have made an economic impact on the ranch, contributing to the success of the livestock operation.  Lowery said that calving out her cows behind a windbreak in bad weather means the difference between a successful calving season and a disastrous one.

Lowery said trees provide shade and protection from storms in the summer, and more importantly, protection from the cold winter winds that whip across the Sandhills during winter blizzards.  She asked, “How could you live on the prairie without planting trees?”

The Lower Loup Natural Resources District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service-Burwell nominated the Lowerys for the award.  It was presented at the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts annual conference in Kearney, September 22nd.