NEBRASKAland

NEBRASKAland December 2018

NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to outstanding photography and informative writing with an engaging mix of articles and photos highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parklands, wildlife, history and people.

Issue link: http://mag.outdoornebraska.gov/i/1057682

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DECEMBER 2018 • NEBRASKAland 43 History of the Frank Ranch In the 1930s, Frank's great grandfather, Harry Frauen, ranched with his brother east of Valentine. One version of the family legend has it that their wives did not get along so they flipped a coin to see who would stay on the ranch and who would leave. "Great Grandpa lost the flip and was bought out by his brother. So he bought this place," Frank said with a laugh. The less interesting version of the story is that during the Dust Bowl the Valentine ranch could not support two families, so one had to move on. The Bassett ranch has stayed in the Frauen/Frank family ever since. In 1976 after graduating from high school in Minneapolis, Dan's father Tom moved onto the ranch, working it with his grandfather. A few years later, he married his wife Deb. The couple had two daughters, Nicole and Erin, followed in 1988 by their son, Dan. In 2006, Dan left the ranch to attend the University of Nebraska earning a degree in diversified agriculture and a minor in grassland ecology. Like his father, he returned to the ranch shortly after graduating, working it with his parents. Allyson, who grew up on a Knox County ranch, met Dan "serendipitously" in 2008 and joined him on the ranch in 2011. Broken Ground The Sandhills, occupying 20,000 square miles of north-central Nebraska, are our nation's most intact grassland ecosystem. Farming in the Sandhills was limited until the 1950s, when the invention of the self-propelled center- pivot irrigation system allowed, for the first time, efficient irrigation of the dry, sandy dunes. Since then, hundreds of Center-pivot-irrigated cropland occupies former prairie on low Sandhill dunes in Keith County. Hundreds of thousands of acres of Sandhills prairie has been lost to pivot development over the last half century.

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