Eagle County cattle company wins conservationist of the year
EAGLE COUNTY -The Eagle County Conservation District has named the Albertson Cattle Company its conservationist of the year. Accepting the award were Vern Albertson and Kevin Wahlert. Albertson is the grandson of Charlie Albertson, who came to Eagle County’s Burns Hole country as a young man in the late 1800s. After working for several years on the various ranches, he took up a homestead on Derby Mesa. Vern’s father, Joe Albertson, grew up on the ranch and ranched in the Burns area his entire life. When Charlie retired in 1949, Joe and his brother, Orris, bought the ranch and divided it into two outfits. Wahlert married Joe’s granddaughter and now Vern, Kevin and the rest of the family are applying modern technology to the ranch just as the family did in the past.The family has participated with their neighbors in controlling oxeye daisy on the mesa which is a highly invasive noxious weed that had originally been planted as an ornamental flower. They practice irrigation water management to get the most efficient use of water for the crop. They have installed five pivot sprinklers which apply the irrigation water in a more efficient manner reducing the labor necessary to irrigate, and increasing the production of hay from the land. Much of Derby Mesa is one large rock covered with a thin layer of topsoil, so installing buried pipelines was quite a project.