September 18, 1947
Joe A. Nutter was born to Glen and Lillian (Keller) Nutter in Valentine, NE on September 18, 1947. He grew up in the Sandhills near Thedford and absorbed his father’s knowledge and values in ranching, horse training, business, and honesty.
In his high school years, Joe did a little bulldogging and saddle bronc riding, but calf roping was his main event. Joe graduated from the Thedford High School in 1966 and was, “All Conference,” in basketball. North Platte Community College was where he spent the following year playing basketball for the Knights.
Joe worked for Glen on the ranch near Thedford and in his early twenties, pursued his childhood passion of becoming a pilot. “Checking windmill water took a lot less time.” Today, he has logged more than 4,500 hours of flying time.
Eventually, Joe wanted more in his life so he moved his small family to North Platte and worked for Cargill. Soon after, he obtained both his real estate licenses. In 1980, Land Brokers was born. Joe was successfully continued selling farms, ranches, and recreational properties for over 37 years.
Joe continued roping calves in the 1970’s and 1980’s. He won several NSRA calf ropings including the NSRA Finals in 1978 in Mullen. Joe’s best calf roping year came in 1980. He was leading the state standings by a large margin until he broke his wrist at a North Platte nightly rodeo that summer. He lost the state championship by only a few dollars.
Joe joined the PRCA as a card holder in 1983 and took up steer roping. He’s still a Gold Card Member today.
Joe met Kathy at the 1987 Memorial Day weekend steer roping in Torrington, Wyoming. He went to pay his entry fees and Kathy was the new secretary for the Wyoming Steer Roping Association. Their romance continued for two and a half years. They were married in 1989. Together they share a daughter, Stacia. Joe is quite proud of his three older daughters too: Bridget (Doug) Hailey of Papillion, Melanie (Ryan) Wilgenbusch of Glenwood, Iowa, Darcy Nutter of Portland, Oregon, as well as two grandsons and twin granddaughters.
Joe continued his successful steer roping career competing at major rodeos throughout the United States winning checks at Cheyenne, Pendleton, Dodge City, and the Prairie Circuit Finals to name only a few. Don King Days at Big Horn, Wyoming became home to the Wyoming Steer Roping Association Finals in 1990, and Joe competed on this spectacular polo field several years afterward.
He joined the Senior Steer Roping Association in the 50 year old and over, and competed in their finals every year he was a member. At first the finals were at the Lazy E at Guthrie, Oklahoma. A couple years later they were moved to Amarillo, Texas.
Joe won championship buckles in 1998 and 2001 in what used to be the Nebraska Steer Roping in Broken Bow. Throughout these years, he shared his practice steers with fellow ropers and has mentored those who came to him for help and advice. If someone was afoot, Joe would loan him a horse.
Joe suffered a tragic accident on Halloween of 2004. He had been competing at a Senior Steer Roping in San Angelo, Texas when he broke all the ribs on one side of his body. Over time, and thanks to the love and support of his family and friends, Joe eventually healed. He was determined to make a comeback—and did.
In 2006, Glen urged Joe to run the ranch north of Thedford, and Joe accepted. Sadly, Glen passed away in November of 2007.
Today, Joe divides his time between the ranch, his business and his home and family at North Platte. He is proud of the improvements he’s made to the ranch and especially the quality of his cow herd. In his spare time, he tries to squeeze in a round of golf.
Joe has been called a humorist and sometimes a jokester. Whenever he is around, people are smiling and laughing at his constant storytelling and good old fashioned cowboy humor.
Over the years, Joe has suffered dislocated shoulders, broken ribs, wrists and ankles but he’s a fighter. Joe A. Nutter is a perfect example of “Cowboy Perseverance.”