By: Leopold Conservation Award Program
A majority of the ranch’s income comes from a cow-calf operation that utilizes an intensive rotational grazing system. Seven large stock ponds provide water for both livestock and waterfowl and are leased annually to fishermen and waterfowl hunters. The ranch has 200 acres of cropland rotated between corn, cotton, and milo. The cropland is enrolled in two USDA cost share programs for planting native grasses and forbs as critical habitat buffers. Conscientious management also provides forage and cover for many birds, including a small population of Northern bobwhites, rare in Navarro County.
The 77 Ranch is frequently used as an “Outdoor Classroom” for field days and workshops, which cover topics such as grazing management, utilizing native forages, grassland restoration, and wildlife management. The sessions are taught by professionals from government and non-government organizations.
The 77 Ranch was nominated by TPWD biologist Jay Whiteside. The Prices “are passionate about their land ethic and do their best to encourage other landowners, both in and outside of their community, to become more environmentally responsible and better land stewards,” wrote Whiteside, in his recommendation.