Year Inducted: 2010
Nominated by Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and the Texas Section, Society for Range Management
JA Ranch, owned by the J.K. “Rooter” Brite Jr. family of Bowie, Texas, is a 2010 regional Environmental Stewardship Award winner. Representing Region IV* of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Brites were recognized at a reception here last night, during the 2010 Cattle Industry Conference.
The ESAP award, now in its 20th year, is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences; USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); the National Cattlemen’s Foundation; and NCBA. One of the seven regional nominees will be selected to receive the national award at the cattle industry’s winter meeting in February 2011.
Rooter and Lynda Brite, along with son J.K. Brite and his wife Liz, manage the ranch and run a purebred Hereford cow-calf herd, a small group of Angus-sired cows and a stocker operation. Located 75 miles northwest of Fort Worth, the ranch has its share of environmental challenges. Brite’s 3,400 acres get less than 30 inches of rain a year on shallow, rocky soils. The ranch is also in the Trinity River watershed, one of the state’s most important waterways. However, after growing up on the ranch and buying it from his father in 1974, Brite was determined to be the best range manager possible.
He completed Texas Christian University’s ranch management program and became a lifetime devotee of practical, common sense land management practices that suit the unique physical conditions of each geographic area. One size does not fit all, according to Brite.
“I do things because they work on this land and that’s what makes the difference,” he explained.
“Mr. Brite has honed his personal rangeland management skills and has built a ranch that is a model for other landowners and a showcase for sustainable management of natural resources,” said Donald Gohmert, an NRCS conservationist who supported the Brite’s ESAP nomination.
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and the Texas Section, Society of
Range Management, who nominated the JA Ranch, have noted some of its exemplary stewardship practices:
Brite has won numerous conservation and range management awards and has been heavily involved as a volunteer board member for many conservation organizations. He has been a director on the Upper Elm Red Soil Water and Conservation District since 1979; serves on NCBA’s Natural Resource and Environment Committee; and represents the National Association of Conservation Districts on the National Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative Steering Committee.
Brite’s ESAP nomination is supported by John Merrill Sr., XXX Ranch Inc., and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board.