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The Gyp Lease Tales and Other Lies
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The Gyp Lease Tales and Other Lies is a collection of vignettes taken from the people and times of the authors many years as a rancher. The author is a semi retired multi generational rancher with interests in southeastern Oklahoma and west Texas. He grew up on the Texas ranch working with cattle, sheep and goats In 1962 he took over as manager of the Oklahoma property and established a high tech operation using the "best" practices of soil fertilization, weed control, animal health and animal nutrition supplementation. This approach resulted in tremendous production but very poor profitability and an obvious decline in health of the local environment. In 1974 the decision was made to shift the management of the operation toward a lower input, more sustainable program. It was soon apparent that making this management successful would require a better understanding of grassland ecology, grazing management and of how forages and grazing animals interact. This started a search for knowledge and re-education that continues today. The change in management philosophy resulted in an operation that was both more profitable and more stable. The health of the soil-plant-animal complex increased with a corresponding decrease in plant and animal diseases and pest organisms. The need for pesticides of all types was greatly reduced and in most cases eliminated. No purchased fertilizer material has been used in twenty years but soil productivity continues to increase. Perhaps the greatest change is the fact that today both the people and the animals of Davis Ranch enjoy their lives. He is one of several people to be honored with selection to be featured in The Texas Legacy Project - Stories of Courage and Conservation. He writes a regular column for the Beef Producer feature of the Farm Progress family of magazines and writes on occasion for The StockmanGrassFarmer and Acres USA; he recently published his first book How to Not go Broke Ranching and more recently A Gathering at Oak Creek followed by The Green Revolution Delusion. You can read some of Walt's work at www.waltdavisranch.com and see a video of his interview by The Texas Legacy Project at http: //texaslegacy.org/bb/transcripts/daviswalttxt.html

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