Vollmer Angus Ranch recognized as Environmental Stewardship Award winner
The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) has selected the 2021 Environmental Stewardship Award recipient, Vollmer Angus Ranch of Wing, N.D. The ranch was honored at the organization’s awards banquet at the NDSA’s Annual Convention & Trade Show in Fargo, N.D., this evening.
Vollmer Angus Ranch is a registered Angus ranch operated by Troy, his wife Sara and their children Brooklyn, Haley and Callie Vollmer, along with Troy’s parents Allen and Bev Vollmer. Troy’s sister Tamara Heins, her husband Tony and their sons AJ and Clayton, also are involved in the livestock operation. The ranch has one full-time employee, Tanner Wolff.
The ranch began operations in the early 1950s, when Troy’s grandparents, Alvin and Verna Vollmer, purchased the original homestead and added land in the surrounding area over the years. Troy’s parents started the ranch’s registered Angus herd in 1969 while incorporating various conservation practices. They were among the first in the area to implement grazing management practices, like cross-fencing and freshwater development in native pastures. Both practices remain of high importance today.
Their registered Angus herd is managed on pasture and cropland. Vollmers have held an annual bull sale since 1979 on the first Tuesday in April, when they market 125 bulls and 50 females. They also market bulls and females privately throughout the year.
The Vollmer Angus Ranch location is unique in that it drains into three different watershed areas – Salt Lake, Twin Lakes and Horseshoe Lake. Understanding the importance of protecting and preserving the watersheds, the Vollmers constructed a 999-head, state-permitted feedlot in 2019 with separate holding ponds. The NDSA assisted with the process through its Environmental Services Program.
Through Troy’s involvement with the Burleigh County Soil Conservation District (SCD), the Burleigh County Natural Resource Conservation Service conducted research and has hosted popular soil health tours on Vollmers’ ranch. Vollmers were instrumental in creating the five soil health principles: soil armor, minimizing soil disturbance, plant diversity, continual live plant/root and livestock integration. The five principles are implemented on an operation to achieve a healthy and sustainable ecosystem for plants and animals to flourish.
Vollmers are supportive of the state’s Private Land Open to Sportsman (PLOTS) program, which offers public walk-in access to private lands for hunting. “Countless hunters have pursued upland birds, waterfowl and deer on these tracts marked by the familiar triangular yellow signs,” said Troy.
Troy serves on the NDSA’s Feeder Council. He is also a member of the American Angus Association and North Dakota Angus Association. He has also been involved with the Burleigh County SCD and North Dakota Grazing Lands Coalition.
“Conservation principles are used at every point in the beef lifecycle, starting with pasture-based cow-calf farms and ranches to the cattlemen and women who feed cattle at feedyards,” said NDSA President Jeff Schafer, a New Rockford, N.D., cow-calf producer and feeder. “Practices look diﬀerent based on geography, but, collectively, these eﬀorts help maintain and improve the environment. On behalf of the Stockmen’s Association, I want to congratulate Vollmer Angus Ranch on this special award.”
As the state Environmental Stewardship Award winner, Vollmer Angus Ranch will next compete on a regional level with other state winners from South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. If successful there, its application will move on to the national competition.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is the state Environmental Stewardship Award Program sponsor.
–North Dakota Stockmen’s Association
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