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Bud Purdy - Idaho Ranching and Conservation Pioneer

Picabo, ID

There's a man in Picabo, Idaho, who's been a true leader in the ranching and business industry, who also hunted ducks with Ernest Hemingway, and is still flying his own airplane at age 94. His name is Bud Purdy. In ranching circles, he's considered an Idaho legend.

"Bud Purdy is one of my heroes," says Bert Brackett, a Rogerson cattle rancher who has worked with Bud for years on many projects. "He's been an integral part of the range and beef industry forever. He exemplifies what a lot of us would aspire to be."

Adds Lt. Gov. Brad Little, a lifelong rancher from Emmett, "He always wants to learn. I bet Bud Purdy has been on thousands of range tours. He sits in the front of the bus; he's often one of the first ones off the bus; he wants to kick the clods, look at the creeks, look at the grass. He's continually interested in range science and resources."

Bud Purdy was born in Beatrice, Nebraska. After a divorce, his mother moved Bud and her three other children to Redlands, Calif., to live with her family. Soon after, her father, W.H. Kilpatrick, sent Bud and his brother, Bill, to work on the family sheep ranch in Picabo in the summer of 1928. The boys were 10 and 11 years old at the time. A family friend, Elmer Cox, drove them to Picabo in a Chevy two-door coupe. It took them four days to get there.

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