The Twin Platte Natural Resources District has honored Alex Brown and Sons of North Platte with a tree planting award for Lincoln-McPherson counties.

This award was presented Monday during the 54th annual Farm/Ranch Appreciation Banquet of the North Platte Chamber of Commerce.

A significant portion of the Brown and Sons ranch is in the Sandhills north of Hershey near the McPherson County line.

The following information about the Brown’s achievements was announced:

“The first 100 established trees planted on the Alex Brown and Sons Ranch were from the Nebraska National Forest near Halsey, called the “Charles E. Bessey Nursery.”

“Trees were made available to farmers and ranchers at little or no cost, under the Clark McNary Act of 1924. These 100 trees were planted in 1966 by Bud Brown and his parents, Bill and Dorothy Brown.

“In the years to follow, 200-400 trees were hand-planted on an annual basis in several locations by Bud and his parents.

“Years later, trees were planted by Bud, his wife Mary Jo and their children Chad, Julie, Kylie, and Emily.

“Trees were planted over the years for homestead, cropland, livestock, and wildlife protection. The first machine planted trees were planted around dryland crops on ground purchased in the early 2000s.

“Hand planted trees were planted in established windbreaks throughout the ranch operation, and at the home place south of the South Platte River.

“Assorted trees planted include Eastern Red Cedar, Native Cottonwood, and Burr Oak.

“Shrubs include Common Lilac, Manchurian Apricot, Chokecherry and Sandcherry.

“The North Platte Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Twin Platte Natural Resources District helped with programs throughout the years to make this tree planting journey successful.

“Bud and Mary Jo, with the help of their children, Chad Brown and family and Emily Allison and family, help with the operations of the ranch.

“Bud Brown said the ‘trees planted for windbreaks provide tremendous protection in the operation of the ranch.'”


This year’s Lincoln-McPherson tree planting award is sponsored by the Hershey State Bank.

The Browns received an outdoor sign and an indoor plaque to commemorate their accomplishments.

The Twin Platte Natural Resources 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 we reach our common goals,” said Conservation Programs Coordinator David Slattery.