This part of the United States has an environment which at the same time is extremely harsh in it's variations and fragile in it's need for care. Because of this unique fragile environment history is inextricably involved and mistakes unforgiving.
The temperature over a year can range from +100 degrees Fahrenheit to -30 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Add 40-50 mph winds into the mix and 12% humidity and you have a unique environment.
Previous to the late 1800s the 'hills' were thought of as uninhabitable due to the harsh climate and blowing sand. Gradual climactic changes the last one hundred years (more moisture) and careful grazing practices have allowed the Nebraska Sandhills to become one of the premier natural grazing areas in the United States.
The Sandhills while semi-arid on the surface reside over the largest underground water reservoir in the world. The land literally floats on an ocean of water more than 400-500feet deep. A way to view the sand in which the natural prairie grasses reside can be looked is as a 2000 foot filtering agent.
The hills are approximately 200-250 feet in height providing enough height to naturally power flows (artesian springs) in some sites. You had better be aware of where you dig in the low meadows though, as you will probably hit water if you havent already been stuck or wading in it.
A bonus we can claim that many others cannot is that the meadows and pastures have never had inorganic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers applied to them. (We plan on keeping it that way.)
Soli Deo Gloria