Dr. Kurt Swanson Bucholz, veterinarian, legislator, and a longtime rancher in Wyoming’s Upper North Platte River Valley, died at home on December 5, 2006, after an almost 2 ½ year struggle with thymic carcinoma, a rare type of thoracic cancer. He was 56 years old.
Dr. Bucholz graduated from Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 1979 with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Shortly after graduation, he was employed at the practice of Dr. Bill Ohlmann in Lexington, Nebraska. At the Lexington Animal Clinic, he was involved not only in large and small animal services, but some exotic animal practice as well.
In 1982, Dr. Bucholz decided to leave practice in Lexington and return to his family’s ranch in the Platte River Valley. He and his family first came to the Platte Valley in 1957 when his mother, Gretchen Bucholz, purchased the XH Land and Cattle Company. From then on, he spent every summer of his life save one on the ranch, piquing his interest in the cattle business at an early age
In 1984, Dr. Bucholz married Laura Johns Liedtke and they made their home on the XH during one of the worst winters in recorded history. Their family grew in 1988 with the arrival of daughter, Bessie, and again in 1991 when their son, John, was born.
Dr. Bucholz’s intense interest in the livestock and beef industry was exemplified by his participation in industry organizations. He was a former President of the Carbon County Stockgrowers’ Association, a former water committee chairman and longtime member of the Wyoming Stockgrowers’ Association, a member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and a Director of the National Western Association as well as a member of R-CALF. In March 2006, he was selected as recipient of the 2006 Outstanding Agriculturist Award by the Wyoming Chapter of the Honor Society of Agriculture, Gamma Sigma Delta. His interests also included the civic arena. He served on the Board of Trustees of Carbon County School District #2 from 1996-2002. He also served as treasurer of the Highline Watershed Improvement District. As founder of the Corbett Medical Foundation, Dr. Bucholz served as the president of this foundation until his recent retirement from that position. He also was a member of the Saratoga Lion’s Club.
Dr. Bucholz also was very involved in water administration and supply concerns facing the upper basin. He was a founding member of the Upper North Platte Water Users’ Association serving as president of its board for more than eight years. In 2002, he was elected to a seat in the Wyoming State House of Representatives. He greatly enjoyed his years in the Legislature often saying that he could not imagine having lived his life without benefiting from the rewarding educational experience he received there. His decision not to run again for this seat was a difficult one, but his compromised health left him no choice. He found, as in all other areas of life, the rewards one reaps are elevated by the commitments one invests. His passion for his family, friends and the XH Ranch follows this philosophy.