WHO WE ARE
|Ceci and Wendel, Gila River Ranch, Gila, NM|
We believe that what you eat determines your health, and how you treat the land that produces the food you eat determines the planet’s health. Long ago we recognized the glaring lack of quality food products available in our current food system, the damage, and in many places, the irreversible loss of agricultural lands. In our hearts we knew we could do something about it, we saw an opportunity to be good land stewards, and we set out to do it. After retiring from careers managing rangeland and forest ecosystems, we purchased Gila River Ranch and began raising our own food and American Grassfed Association (AGA) certified grassfed beef (www.americangrassfed.org). We began offering what we produced to others who were seeking the same. We remain committed to providing the highest quality, healthiest, and best tasting meat and improving our spot on planet Earth.
We raise our herd of Angus beef on our ranch in the Gila River valley located in southwest New Mexico. We manage an additional 70 acres for The Nature Conservancy using a combination of grazing and non-grazing methods to restore healthy grassland communities. All of our cattle graze 365 days a year on natural grass. We do not use chemicals on our land. We use holistic grazing management practices and implement natural methods for maintaining healthy animals and sustainable grassland ecosystems. We do not use machinery to till the soil; instead we manage for soil health and the below ground community by maintaining vegetation cover over the soil year long never tilling or exposing bare soil by mechanically removing or turning under vegetation. This type of holistic management allows for the natural cycling of nutrients from decaying plant material and animal manure to be incorporated from the surface of the soil to the plant roots below via insects, rodents and water movement thereby supporting subsurface living ecosystems. This is where ecosystem magic occurs…below the ground and we are keen to making it happen. The key to managing healthy grazing animals is allowing the animals to behave as naturally as possible, encouraging the animals to move frequently so they always have nutritious grass to eat and a healthy clean environment to live in. We strive to raise our cattle the way nature intended, on fresh growing grass supported by a healthy below ground ecosystem.