See how New Mexico beef farmers and ranchers are rethinking the ranch to raise sustainable beef through land-saving, wildlife-preserving, and award-winning environmental efforts.
The Cabeza de Baca Family, owners of the Ute Creek Cattle Company in Bueyeros, New Mexico, has been ranching in northeast New Mexico since the early 1800's. They've managed to keep the land in the family through hardships from drought, a failed economy, the dust bowl, World War II, grasshopper infestations and various other challenges. Over the last 18 years, great improvements had been made to the ranch to help with water management, including a water distribution system with two 10,000-gallon water storage tanks installed on the highest point of the ranch. Over 25 miles of pipe distributes water over the ranch through gravity flow to various fenced-off pastures allowing the ranch to maximize grass growth and enhance the soil health even during drought years. The ranch has also added "shade balls" (plastic balls placed in the water to cover the surface) to their water tanks. These balls allows cattle to drink and rain to get through but can reduce evaporation by 91% and save about 16,000 gallons per tank every year. The Ute Creek Cattle Company was awarded the prestigious Environmental Stewardship Award (ESAP).
"We do not inherit the land, we borrow it from our children. We’ve done the best we could to leave it better than we found it, and I feel confident future generations shall carry on the heritage ranch." - Tuda Libby Crews, Owner, Ute Creek Cattle Company
Meet New Mexico cattle rancher, Garrett Foote of Texico, New Mexico. The region’s dry, mild environment is ideal for raising cattle. They graze cattle on wheat during the winter months and in the summer months they graze on grass. The grass and wheat grown in the area is very nutrient dense so it makes sense to use the local resources and be stewards of their land.
Raising beef is a complex process, but throughout the entire journey, one thing remains constant – the shared commitment to raising cattle in a safe, humane and environmentally sustainable way by using the latest technology and resources. Today, there are more than 1.4 million cattle and over 10,000 cattle farms and ranches in New Mexico. Learn more about beef farmers and ranchers who are raising beef from pasture to plate in The Land of Enchantment.
Cattle were introduced into New Mexico in 1598, when Juan de Oñate brought 800 cattle to the area. Today there are more than 1.4 million cattle.