Maintaining land and water: Stan Graff
A leading example of true stewardship: Stan Graff
Spending time on his ranch, it doesn’t take long to see the efforts of that stewardship. Manmade wetlands nestled between wooded thickets near a flood plain, not far from the Red River in northeast Texas attract migrating waterfowl. Improved grassland for upland game bird habitat in meadows parallel hay pastures where cattle graze. Then there’s his lakes and ponds. Stan Graff has a true fishing program. He’s got ponds designated as hatchery ponds. Some of those grow baitfish, while others are havens for young game fish to grow large enough to be introduced into the bigger lakes. He has a vision to grow plenty of fish, and some big ones along the way. How does he do it? His multi-faceted plan involves his friends who love to come enjoy the ranch. He has formed different committees of his buddies and their “job” is to give back by providing labor to accomplish the tasks. That means each spring there’s a “work weekend” where ponds are seined, fish moved around, stocked, and the health of ponds is evaluated. Stan also believes in feeding his fish, especially forage fish, primarily bluegills. “Our feeding program is designed to help grow the food chain, mostly for largemouth bass.” With automatic feeders on key fishing lakes and several smaller hatchery ponds, the forage fish are supplemented daily during the growing season. Over the years, Graff Ranch has won numerous awards, one of the most prestigious being the “Lone Star Land Steward” award. Our hats off the Stan Graff, a leading example of true stewardship.