Three Ag Hall of Fame inductions to take place at fair | Agriculture

Three inductions into the Dawes County Agricultural Hall of Fame will be made Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Grandstand at the Dawes County Fairgrounds.  Several other awards also will be presented.  The public is invited to attend.

The new Hall of Fame members will be government trapper Don Fryda of Chadron and farm and ranch couples Bob and Sharon Rickenbach of Chadron and Jake and Vicki Wasserburger of Crawford.

Fryda has worked to protect agricultural property and help maintain human health and safety in Dawes and Sioux counties for 38 years.  Officially, he’s a wildlife specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.  There are only about a dozen of them in Nebraska.  One is his brother, who works in the south-central part of the state.  Their father had the same duties at Ainsworth and then Oxford, Neb.

Fryda likes his work, its challenges and its variety.  He may be shooting coyotes from an airplane, setting a trap or snare to catch a creature that is invading a chicken house, trying to control prairie dogs in a pasture by spreading a government-approved bait, figuring out how to prevent beavers from cutting down trees or setting off fireworks to remove vultures from their perch.  The possibilities are endless.

Not all of them involve something lethal or noisy.

A few years ago, he caused a flock of blackbirds that were “making a huge mess” on a home near Chadron State Park to change their flight pattern by simply placing a bobblehead owl on a post. 

“We use different tools for different problems,” he said.

While there are many varmints that can cause problems, Fryda said coyotes are always at the top of the wanted list and his busiest time is calving season.

“We’ll never eliminate all the coyotes. They’re too smart…

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