Farmers Behind Your Food: Anderson Ranch, Texas
Jim Bill Anderson’s lifelong passion for preserving prairie land was inspired by a high school summer job with the USDA, and since assuming control of his family’s Texas ranch in 1981 he has worked tirelessly to improve its prairie land even further.
He owns and operates Anderson Ranch, a 5,000-plus acre spread on the Canadian River in Hemphill County, which his grandfather purchased in 1946.
Anderson has restored its native grasses, eradicated water-guzzling invasive plant species and bolstered indigenous populations of quail, Rio Grande turkey, whitetail deer and the rare lesser prairie chicken, all while operating a working cattle ranch.
In addition to implementing good land management practices, he has reached out to neighbors and conservation groups, government agencies and economic development organizations to promote land stewardship and ecotourism. He also worked with the Texas Agricultural Land Trust to put his property into a perpetual conservation easement, guaranteeing it will be preserved for many generations.
Jim Bill Anderson was recognized by the Sand County Foundation as the 2010 Leopold Conservation Award winner in Texas.
**This story was originally published by the Sand County Foundation.