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Sutherland farm recognized for conservationTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Trees protect the Paulman place
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Tree seedlings
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Drip irrigation for seedlings

Each year, the Twin Platte Natural Resources District takes pleasure in recognizing those who have made extra efforts in the pursuit of resources management.

The district provides technical and cost-share assistance to encourage landowners and land managers in the conservation of natural resources.

“Our continuing partnership with the farmers and ranchers in the district will help ensure that common goals are reached,” said Dave Slattery of the Twin Platte NRD.

This year, Roric and Deb Paulman of Sutherland are honored. They have adopted many conservation programs into their farm, including seeding pivot-irrigation corners to grass and trees grow, devoting the corners to wildlife habitat.

In 1985, the Paulmans left Omaha and returned to the family farm near Sutherland. Shortly after they returned, Roric’s father unexpectedly passed away.

They were a young couple with two babies, thrown into a whirlwind.

Out of the fog emerged Paulman Farms; a custom farming operation. They have, with the help of many, grown their operation considerably. Their conservation efforts have grown accordingly.

To qualify for conservation benefits, a plan has to be approved, and the terms “highly erodible,” “farmable wetlands” and “habitat management captured acres” all became part of the Paulman’s vocabulary as they applied for programs.

“It was a natural fit to integrate the same kind of thinking to all of the acres,” Paulman said.

A good friend of the Paulmans told Roric, “good conservation will not happen without economic benefit.”

With those words echoing in the background, Paulman said many of the initiatives on their farm in water and land resource management have saved energy and input costs.

Paulman said technology has led the way, with such things as global positioning and real time kinematics to improve the accuracy of satellite signals; variable rate irrigation; capacitance moisture probes, plus other tools.

In an effort to spread the word about conservation beyond the Paulman's fence lines, they have hosted demonstrations and meetings and have interacted with University of Nebraska students in recent years.

And, through the Nebraska Water Balance Alliance, they have been involved at the state and federal level in decision-making that impacts agriculture. The water balance alliance provides a forum for discussion of new and innovative ideas for resources management, Paulman said. As a founding member, Paulman said the alliance is beneficial because of the diversity of the stakeholders and collaborative efforts to manage resources for the benefit of all Nebraskans.

Deb and Roric also thank the many people who have spent countless hours planting and caring for the trees, shrubs and grass.

Cpl. John Nelson, a retired Nebraska State Patrol officer and a tree-planter for the NRD, always seemed to be giving Roric heck about weeds and mowing a strip so when he placed hand plants, he didn’t get sandbur and foxtail in his shoe laces, Roric said.

And, Charles Grow, a landowner and business associate, spent time in the tree rows hand hoeing and raking debris out of conservation mulch.

“They amongst many are truly the reason the Paulmans have been successful in their partnership with the Twin Platte NRD,” officials said.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 11/15/2012
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