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The Dvorak Ranch was founded in 1880 by Jan Dvorak and his wife, Anne.
Jan and Anne emigrated from Austria to New York in the 1870’s. While in New
in York, Jan worked in a meat shop making sausage and hand rolled cigars.
After saving enough money, Jan and Anne and two sons, Louis and James,
decided that it was time to go “West.” Leaving behind one son, Matthew, Jan
and his family boarded a train and started a journey. When the journey ended,
Jan and his family had homesteaded 160 acres southwest of Atkinson,
Nebraska. Jan and Anne were some of the original settlers in Atkinson, as

Atkinson was also founded in 1880.

The land that Jan and Anne chose was treeless, flat, covered with six foot tall
grass, and had no other inhabitants. It must have been very overwhelming
and lonely, yet so exciting! As time went by, the Dvoraks began to realize the
value of the area. Being on the northeast edge of the great sandhills region,
water was plentiful and the grasslands were mostly subirrigated and of a
good forage quality. This was proven by the large amounts of buffalo chips
on the ground; chips that proved to be an invaluable fuel resource for Jan
and his family. Buffalo wallows can still be found on the ranch.

James later moved to Omaha, but Louis stayed on the homestead and was
able to acquire an additional 160 acres. Louis married Mary Sramek and they
had five sons and two daughters. Four of these brothers, Charles, Joe,
Edward, and John (thus the name Dvorak Brothers Ranches) and one sister,
Elizabeth, became partners and began expanding the business. Lazy L over
lazy D was created as the ranch’s brand in honor of Louis and is still used to

this day.

The “Dvorak Brothers” were serial entrepreneurs. In the 1930’s, the “Dvorak
Brothers” had an orchestra which played throughout north central Nebraska
and south central South Dakota. With Edward and Joe on saxophone, Charlie
on the accordion, John on brass, and Betty on drums, the band had quite a
following. In the 1940’s, the brothers became breeders of registered duroc
hogs. Also in the 1940’s, the brothers began breeding alfalfa for seed. They
must have had a hardy strain because some of the original plants are still
growing. While cattle had always been a part of the ranch, it was in the 1950’s
that the brothers devoted all of their attention to growing the cattle and land

operation. Cattle have been the mainstay ever since.


Many of the ranch rules remain the same. Preservation and improvement of
the land and cattle genetics has been a must. We have always managed the
ranch for the next generation. Trees and wildlife areas have always been
planted and maintained. Water resources are developed strategically and
protected vigorously. Cattle are grazed rotationally and culled meticulously.

Always better cattle.

Our first registered bull was a Hereford that was purchased in 1912. Since
that time, all of our bulls have been registered and we remained strictly
Hereford until 1980. Tradition can be hard to change, but we started buying
registered red angus bulls and are now strictly red angus. WOW, what a great
decision! Our red angus bulls, calves, yearlings, and breeding cattle are

always in high demand.

Here we are about to turn the calendar on our 140 th year of business! Now my
son, Tannon, and his wife, Jenna, and their seven children have picked up the
reins and will take the ranch into the future. A lot has changed on the ranch,
in our small communities, and in the evolving world around us over the many
decades, but many things remain the same. Not least of these is that, with the
Grace of God, great momma cows will pick this state up upon their backs and

carry it to prosperity.

Written by the late Gordon Dvorak



The latest generations from the Dvorak Brothers Ranches, Tannon Dvorak, Gordon Dvorak, and Dawson Dvorak, checking out their herd!

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