Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Dave Hutchinson, Organic Rancher

Dave Hutchinson is an organic Rancher at Rose, NE. I was aware of their operation and of his being the son of D.E. “Hutch” Hutchinson who had tremendous influence on my career with the USDA Soil Conservation Service (Now known as NRCS, Natural Resource Conservation Service). But never knew many of the details of their operation. It was brought to my attention when daughter Carolyn pointed out their “story” in Summer Miller’s new book, “new Prairie kitchen”. I selected other information from Panorama on the Internet where Dave is quoted as saying, "“My parents were interested in conservation of grasslands 80 years ago. We’ve never fed corn to our animals. We know it’s healthier for the cow and for people, says Hutchinson, who carries on the family tradition at his 5000-acre ranch in the Sandhills of North Central Nebraska.”  The article also says, "Along with help from his wife, one of their five daughters, her husband and a grandchild, Hutchinson raises about 500 cattle, along with a herd of 200 buffalo, 200 meat goats, a small herd of quarter horses, seven donkeys and some dairy cows that supply milk for the family.” His Dad, “Hutch”, was very instrumental in my becoming a career civil servant. 

He is shown here with his family who help operate the ranch. Part of Hutch’s mentoring of me included becoming a member of the Soil and Water Conservation Society in which I still maintain membership. After retiring from Federal and State service, I served as Executive VP for the Society at their Office in Ankeny, IA. Some years earlier, Hutch had been instrumental  in getting several acres of the land around the Headquarters building seeded to Native Grasses. While I was Exec. VP, we got it named: “The D.E. Hutchinson Native Prairie” with a Plaque for Hutch as well as one to be displayed in the Office building. Hutch and several members of his family were there for the dedication ceremony that included many dignitaries and friends of the Society. I also gave a Eulogy at Hutch's funeral a few years later. 

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