The Switzer Ranch is a 12,000 acre ranching operation that has been in the family for 105 years. A true love of the land and the wildlife it supports has been passed down through our family.
The ranch is divided into traditional and rotational grazing systems and we also have a winter back-grounding operation. The ranch contains some wet meadows that we harvest as hay for feed. The bulk of the ranch is native grassland used for grazing.
The ranch is currently home to four generations living on the land. When our son, Adam, wanted to return to the ranch in 2000 it was obvious to us that the ranch that had once supported four families would not be able to support even two. We started to research how to use our ranch in different ways to allow our children the opportunity to live and work here. In order to provide additional income off the land, we partnered with Adam to start Calamus Outfitters. This business focuses on tourism, offering ranch vacations, trail rides, bird viewing, canoe, tank and tube trips as well as vast hunting opportunities.
We are constantly working to improve and update our management practices throughout the ranch. By utilizing our grazing operation for conservation goals we sustain and improve our land for successful cattle ranching and provide an alternate income by building a nature based eco-tourism aspect. It is our hope that this diversification will allow our children and grandchildren to continue the ranch.Our ranch has become a destination for many in the wildlife and bird conservation community and is becoming a forum for educating folks from around the world about the Sandhills and our conservation management plans.
Through our diversified ranching operation we hope to serve as a model to other threatened ranches in the Great Plains area by demonstrating how to diversify land use to stimulate alternative incomes while conserving and promoting traditional agriculture.