2015 Achievement Winner
Shane Wagner of Washburn, North Dakota has been selected as the 2015 Conservation Farm Achievement winner for the South McLean County Soil Conservation District. His ranching operation is located nine miles east and one and ½ miles north of Washburn, North Dakota in McLean County. Shane started ranching here in 2001, taking over the ranch headquarters his parents Rod and Helen Wagner built in 1978. The ranch headquarters was built just west of Shane’s grandfather Wagner’s original farmstead headquarters. The ranch headquarters are protected by farmstead windbreaks that were established over several years. Shane and his parents participated in the North Dakota Centennial Tree Farmer Program sponsored by the South McLean County Soil Conservation District in 1986-1989 to assist in establishing their farmstead windbreak.
Shane’s ranching operation produces feed for his cow/calf cattle operation by growing hay in rotation and grazing tame grass and native rangeland with a planned rotational grazing system originally developed by his father and uncle in the late 1980’s. The cross fenced paddocks developed under the Great Plains Conservation Program are still in place and are utilized in Shane’s expanded rotational grazing system.
Shane converted all the cropland on his operation to hay and pasture land in 2008. The forage planting utilized grass and legume species for haying and late fall grazing if needed. He will rotate the cropland fields to cash crops for a couple of years and then return the land back to grass based production as needed.
Shane has improved his family’s original planned rotational grazing system by developing several clean livestock watering sources. The improved livestock water sources include livestock watering pipelines from a livestock watering well to fiberglass livestock watering tank facilities, replacing the original excavated livestock watering ponds. He improved one of the excavated livestock watering ponds by fencing the pond to limit access by the livestock for improved water quality. Shane practices intensive pest management on his grazing unit and adjoining lands for noxious and poisonous plant weed control.
Shane practices proper forage harvest management on his hayland fields to provide good quality feed for his livestock. His latest conservation practice is the implementation of portable livestock shelters for increased grazing time and improved manure management. Like many McLean County farm and ranches, Shane’s operation is located in the pothole region of North Dakota’s Prairie Coteau. Sloughs, tree plantings and native grass areas adjoining his grazing land units are maintained for wide variety of upland and wetland wildlife habitat.
Shane’s conservation efforts include enrollment in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) since 2010. He utilized the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to convert his cropland to grass for hay and pasture, improve his livestock watering facilities on the livestock grazing system and to implement the use of portable livestock shelters.
The South McLean County Soil Conservation District is proud to announce Shane Wagner as their 2015 Conservation Achievement Farm and Ranch winner, as he does an outstanding job of conservation practice implementation and management on his livestock ranching operation