Stacked Lazy 3 Ranch
By: Leopold Conservation Award Program
The Tureceks have ranched and farmed on the eastern plains of Colorado since 1910. Over the last 36 years, Keven and Sandi Turecek have combined land from both sides of the family to create what is now the Stacked Lazy 3 Ranch, a cow/calf and dryland wheat business comprised of 5,000 acres of farmland and 30,000 acres of pasture.
Under the leadership of Keven and Sandi, their land has undergone radical changes from what it was when their predecessors managed it. Mo-board plows and tandem disc used to be commonly used tools on the farm, however the lack of moisture on the desert plains where the ranch is located compelled the family to switch to mostly no-till, helping conserve the little rainfall they receive.
For the Tureceks, beef production is secondary to grass production. The family raises an Angus cross cattle, selected for their smaller size and other notable attributes. The smaller cattle eat less grass while still maintaining a good body score. When October arrives, they switchback rotational graze and move the cattle to allow the grass to recover until spring. They’ve also replanted a considerable amount of native grass to conserve topsoil and prevent erosion.
The Tureceks believe the wildlife are as much as part of the ranch ecosystem as the grass and water. It’s not uncommon to see golden eagles, bob cats, antelope or even an occasional mountain lion. Striving to maintain a healthy balance between the wildlife and their business, they leave solar pump watering stations on during the winter for the animals.
"Keven is aware that in an industry as climate sensitive as agriculture, the potential threat of climate change takes on an even greater significance…” said Jim Unger, Southwind Insurance Agency. “He knows that practicing conservation tillage, residue and manure management, crop rotation and cover crops all contribute to carbon sequestration while accomplishing sustainable resource management goals."