A calf escapes the rope of Paul Kenner as he and a crew of close to 70 workers corral and brand young calves at the Burdick Ranch south of Wood Lake, Neb., on April 21, 2012. Branding relies heavily on the ranching community. “We run a thousand cows,” rancher Ben Burdick said. “If you didn’t have help, you couldn’t operate.”
Ben Burdick holds his great-grandsons, Trevor Burdick, 3, at left, and Mason Burdick, 2, before posing for a family picture after lunch at the Burdick Ranch south of Wood Lake, Neb. on Saturday, April 21, 2012. The Burdick family, now with four generations working the land, credit their branding success to neighbors and hired hands. "We run a thousand cows," Ben Burdick said. "If you didn't have help, you couldn't operate."
A surplus of dry dust and ash is kicked up as a herd of bison react to the presence of employees of the Nature Conservancy who, along with help from volunteers and neighbors, cull 110 yearling and two-year-old bison at the Niobrara Valley Preserve, which is located 16 miles north of Johnstown, Neb., on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. Traditionally, the herd is culled in late October, but the recent fires in the area have destroyed more than half of the grazing land, which provides feed. The culled bison will be sold to a feedlot.
Iowa National Guard Spc. John Kerschner, 46, hugs four of his daughters including, from left, Grace, 14, Gianna, 7, Gaela, 9, and Gladys, 11, outside of their home in Clearfield, Iowa, on Jan. 21, 2012. Kerschner served at Combat Outpost Dand Patan with Bravo Company of the 1-168th battalion of the Iowa National Guard.
Col. Tom Brewer poses for a portrait at the Nebraska State Capitol on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013. Brewer has spent much of the last year in recovery after a rocket-propelled grenade slammed into his vehicle in Afghanistan in 2011. Brewer said he hopes to return to Afghanistan.
Taylor Rudd of Lubbock, Texas, kneels to pray with his horse, grounded to honor fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Hunter Hogan on Friday, July 6, 2012, at St. Joseph Cemetery in York. Hogan, 21, was a cowboy and outdoorsman before he joined the Marines and was killed while serving in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on June 23. Rudd and White Horse travel to Marine funerals around the country to honor fallen soldiers.
Former Shenandoah American Legion Post 88 Commander Harry Pontious listens to speakers during a Memorial Day Observance at Rose Hill Cemetery in Shenandoah on Monday, May 28, 2007. Pontious held onto the World War Two veteran Andrew Wright's flag, which was one of nine flags being raised in honor of veterans. "This is one of the greatest ceremonies," Pontious said.
Capt. Jeremiah Afuh, of Lincoln, hugs his nephew Tayvione Bluford, 9, of Lincoln, with his niece, Lyric Afuh, 5, of Lincoln, at right, at Lincoln East High School in Lincoln on Sunday, July 24, 2011. Afuh, the HHT Commander of the 1-134th Calvary Squadron of the Nebraska National Guard arrived with other members of the HHT after spending most of the last year at Camp Phoenix in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Robby Renshaw and her mother, Kelly, saw their world turned upside down but emerged with an unbreakable bond. After Robby was sexually assaulted by a neighbor at age 7 and her attacker disappeared, her mother told her: “You have a choice. You can let this man destroy you. Or you can move on.”
A flock of sandhill cranes takes flight shortly after sunrise at the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary near Gibbon, Neb. on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Every year, during March and early April, the Platte River from near Grand Island, Neb., to west of Kearney is home to more than 500,000 sandhill cranes.
Ryan Hamilton holds the hand of Gina Korth, both of Norfolk, as they watch the movie Ice Age III from on top of their car at the Starlite Drive-In Theater in Neligh on Friday, July 10, 2009. The theater's "Summer Bash" drew a large crowd of local and regional families. Though the theater is not the last in the state, it is the last that is open every day of the week during the warm months.
An older male Canadian bighorn sheep watches the activity of several Nebraska Game and Parks Commission employees as they, along with Canadian counterparts, set up a net capture device in the Cardinal River Mine on Monday, Feb. 6, 2012. The Nebraskans traveled to Canada to net and transport 41 sheep back to Nebraska to create a new herd west of Fort Robinson State Park.
During the Nebraska Game and Parks' effort to repopulate the state's native bighorn sheep herd, Mike Moreva blindfolds eyes and hobbles legs during a capture at the Cardinal River Mine. The Nebraskans traveled to Canada to net and transport 41 sheep back to Nebraska to create a new herd west of Fort Robinson State Park.
Seven-year-old twins America Perez, left, and Priscilla Perez pose for a portrait during the celebration of Mexican Independence near Plaza Latino on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009. Omahans gathered on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the plaza, near 24th and O streets, to celebrate Mexican and other independence days.
Tiffany Westphal kisses her son, Juan “Meme” Delgado, 5, goodbye before he boards a school bus on his way to Field Club Elementary School, where he is a kindergarten student, in Omaha, Neb. Delgado loves going to school but is often too sick. He was born with Chronic Idiopathic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction, which stopped his intestines and stomach from functioning.
Michael Peters, 13, is all smiles after receiving a face full of snow while sledding with friends at Black Elk Elementary School as children and adults alike enjoy a snow day courtesy of Winter Storm Q in Omaha on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013.
Don Hunter shovels outside of Gerda's German Restaurant and Bakery in Omaha on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. Hunter, who does odd jobs and maintenance around the shop, said he expected to be shoveling the walk until they closed.
The smile says it all. Moments earlier, Freeman’s Austin Ruskamp took down Class D’s top-ranked wrestler at 160 pounds. “You don’t get nervous for the state tournament. You just go out and do what you’ve been training all year for.”
NU's Ndamukong Suh's tackled of Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert causes a loose ball, which Jared Crick recovers in the first quarter of Nebraska win against Missouri at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo., Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009.
Nebraska's Kenny Bell greets fans in the tunnel walk after the Huskers' 20-7 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb. on Friday, Nov. 25, 2011. The wide receiver has become a fan favorite in his freshman year.
Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer is overwhelmed and congratulated by fans as he walks off of the field after Virginia Tech's 16-15 win over the Huskers at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009.
Humphrey St. Francis's Kendra Bender looks at the finish line after falling in the final stretch of the Class D 300 meter low hurdles as Silver Lake's Jordane Choquette wins the race at the Nebraska High School State Track meet at Burke High School in Omaha, Neb.
The Oregon State team dog piles catcher Mitch Canham after the Beavers defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels 9-3 in game two of the College World Series Finals at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb., on Sunday, June 24, 2007.
Erika Bocanegra, 17, pulls close her boyfriend, Omaha South midfielder Guillermo Bustos, after Omaha South's loss in the Nebraska high school soccer championships. South High School is based in an Omaha neighborhood that is densely populated by Latino families. "Just because we're Latinos some people underestimate us. Like, 'oh, they're Mexicans' and just for the fact that we're Mexicans, they think that we're bad at everything, and we've already proved to them that were not, so I want people like that to look at us equally...We're equal people," defender Cesar Lira said. Though they didn't finish as state champions, the team of 19 Latino students and one German exchange student changed attitudes and broke a 17-year dry spell for state tournament appearances for any South High team.
Mason Mulick, 6, shows off his tongue, which he got stuck to a pole outside of his Omaha home before heading to school at Morton Elementary on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2008. He did not go to school but stayed home where his mother fed him a regiment of apple sauce and yogurt to ease his aching tongue.
District 31 State Sen. Rick Kolowski holds his grandchildren, from left, Joey Markus, 18 mo., Gwen Kolowski, 2, and Persephone Markus, 4, as the Nebraska Legislature convenes at the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013.
All photos copyright Alyssa Schukar or the Omaha World-Herald