New Mexico Beef

Some things never change… The feeling you get after hard days work, the feeling of pride when you steal second base.  Those moments are to some small things but, as all of us know over a period of time small steps add up to big moves.  Now there are a lot of ranchers right here in NM who are making big moves and work extremely hard every single day.  No matter what, and if there is a problem whether it be a busted fence or a piece of equipment that just won’t fire up.  Often there isn’t someone to turn to or even a repair place to call.  These farmers and ranchers rely on themselves!  And they have been relying on themselves for ages and in some parts you can find ranches that have been operating for 5 even 6 generations.

Recently I had the honor and pleasure of going on a Gate to Plate tour.  Thanks to the New Mexico Beef Council!  We visited several Cattle Ranches up in Eastern New Mexico.  And let me tell you if you have never been up to that side of our great state you really should drive out there.  Not only is it beautiful but the people who inhabit these parts are as genuine as they come.  Today’s Cattle Ranching industry has come a long ways with all the regulations that see to it that all our beef is safe and of the highest quality.  To the equipment used to weigh tag and inoculate our cattle… thanks to an amazing woman by the name of Dr. Temple Grandin, who through her love of animals and innovative brilliance literally changed an entire industry.  At the heart of things however not a lot has changed for these ranchers who not only raise cattle they also work the land and all it’s natural resources.

It is these natural resources that have me spinning.  For fortunately here in NM we have several shallow pockets of water that these clever ranchers use to water and feed their cattle.  But what breaks my heart, is… due to our dry climate and recent drought many many of our ranchers are having to sell off there precious cattle.  For there is enough water to drink.  There is no where near enough water to irrigate these sprawling ranches.  So no matter how hard these good folks work to tend to their cattle and their land if it doesn’t rain soon many will be forced to close up shop for good.  The impact of the cattle industry on New Mexico’s economy is huge… Were talking BILLIONS of dollars.  Not to mention the global role these stewards of the land uphold is difficult to quantify.  For they are not only feeding our nation they are also supplying beef all over this blue planet.  The legacy that is cattle ranching is great and after spending just two days with these amazing people I know and trust that they will do whatever it takes.  My hope for them is that the rest of us do our part to support our fellow New Mexicans who work to put food in our markets and maintain our beautiful landscapes.  And for me… I will pray for rain

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