Project Showcase: Barta Brothers Ranch
Location: Northcentral Nebraska
The Barta Brothers Ranch is a 6,000-acre property donated to the University by Clifford and James Barta in 1996. It is utilized by scientists, extension educators and students to compare livestock grazing systems, study complex plant communities, and explore water interactions associated with grasslands.
The ranch has over 5,500 acres categorized as upland range. There are 120 acres of contiguous sub-irrigated meadow and over 100 acres of discontinuous sub-irrigated meadow and wetland scattered over the ranch.
Seated on the ranch is the Barta Brothers Ranch Research Facility, a two-story, 4,800-square-foot building used to facilitate and coordinate research. The facility includes a meeting rooms for up 30 people, dorm space for researchers and students working on the ranch, a lab building, a large equipment shed, and a weather station.
"This ranch and the associated endowment enables University of Nebraska researchers to better understand and characterize the eastern Sandhills ecosystem."
The ranch serves as a model ranch, providing the facilities and support needed to conduct research and demonstrations relevant to Sandhills ranchers. Educational programs from the ranch play an important role in training students and continuing education for ranchers, conservationists, and representatives of federal and state agencies. Research and demonstrations focus on long-term grazing management systems and the biotic and abiotic factors associated with such systems.
The site is ideally suited for this type of research, as well as questions about ecosystem structure and function in the Sandhills. The rangeland at Barta Brothers Ranch is in good-to-excellent condition and is similar to most upland range in the eastern half of the Sandhills.
May 2, 2012 | NU Foundation
"The Barta brothers were lifelong ranchers"
July 5, 2011 | Farm Progress
"Barta Brothers Ranch is a Real Gem"
July 30, 2008 | High Plains Journal
"Barta Brothers Ranch research shows deferred, short-duration grazing similar"
Find out more about the Barta Brothers Ranch here.