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Cynthia and Ira Houseweart have deep roots in Colorado cattle ranching. Cynthia’s great-grandfather, Edward Ulysses Butterfield, and his brother, Charles, were successful ranchers in the late 19th and early 20th century in Phillips County, and controlled many sections of the Colorado prairie. In 1913, Ira’s great-grandparents, Oran Charles and Mable Houseweart, acquired land to farm on Rogers Mesa in Delta County. Cynthia and Ira and their two daughters, Izzi and CeCe, live on the Houseweart Ranch as do Ira’s parents, Bill and Betty, and his brother, Cody, and his family. Izzi and CeCe are the fifth generation of Houseweart cattle ranchers.
Joseph Griego was raised on a family farm where he participated in everything from collecting eggs, milking the cow, and making cheese and butter, to butchering animals on the farm. Since 2008, he and his wife, Ruth Ann, have been homesteading once again with their four boys, Castillo, Ronald, Joseph Paul, and Dakota Joe, raising livestock and crops at Ranchito Organic Farm in Mora, New Mexico. This homestead is different than the family farm where Joseph was raised because Joseph and Ruth Ann are using only holistic and organic practices.
By Animal Welfare Approved
| September 23, 2013
For the past 30 years, Duncan and Susan Blair have been in the business of raising cattle everywhere from Wickenburg, Arizona and Santa Barbara County, California to La Pampa Province in Argentina. Since 2006, however, they have focused on producing grass-finished beef in the tradition of Argentina in Santa Cruz County, Arizona, where they hold grazing permits to 11,508 acres of the Coronado National Forest along the international border with Mexico.
Alton Wallace raises Animal Welfare Approved pigs in southeast North Carolina. He is the latest member of a multigenerational family tradition of raising hogs outdoors: “My parents had hogs growing up, and my whole life we had hogs. It’s very natural to me.” Alton and his wife now own 21 acres of pasture and woods, where they raise four sows and up to 40 market pigs at any given time.
As a child, Greg Baker spent a lot of time with his grandfather, who seemed to have every type of plant and animal that Greg could imagine. It was an interest that rubbed off: after spending most of his adult life in town, Greg finally bought one acre in the Texas Panhandle in 2003. He established an orchard and garden immediately and, by the time he met his wife, Penny, in 2009, he was already planning to add chickens to his operation. The couple decided to call their small farm Honey’s Farm Fresh, both Greg’s nickname for Penny, and his mother’s name for him as a golden-haired child.
As an OB-GYN and gynecological oncologist, Dr. Dudley Baker was concerned about the prevalence of cancer he was encountering in his practice. At the same time, Dr. Baker developed a keen interest in the environmental and stewardship of his land. Following ongoing discussions with a local AWA-certified cattle producer and researching many publications , Dr Baker was convinced of the health benefits of grass-fed beef. It wasn’t long before he became passionate about producing healthy food for his family and patients. Dr. Baker sold the herd of Limousin cattle he had been raising for years and, in 2009, began raising registered Black Angus grassfed beef at Baker Ranch in central Texas.
Near Celeste, Texas, lies a crossroads formerly known as Hickory Creek. While this historic farming community is remembered only in state road signs, the farm families still exist. Richard and Lynn Rocha own and operate a small 25 acre farm known as Dautobi Acres. Both Richard and Lynn are from farming backgrounds and animal welfare is of utmost importance to them. They also believe in the importance of “leaving the land better than you found it.”
Jim Smalley has spent over 25 years breeding cattle unlike any other. “I’ve lived most of my life in Texas,” he explains. “So when I started noticing that beef didn’t taste like it was supposed to anymore, I decided to raise my own.” Starting with just a few Texas Longhorn cows and a couple Limousin bulls back in the 1980s, Jim has been working ever since to develop an isolated breed that is perfectly suited to the climate and landscape of central Texas – and who’s beef tastes second to none.
Katy and Evan Vigil-McClanahan are part of the new generation of young people who wish to farm in a way that not only feeds their community, but sustains natural resources as well. They established Creekside Ranch in 2011 in Esparto, California – a small community at the entrance to the beautiful and fertile Capay Valley.
Buck N Buffalo ranch raise AWA-certified bison on more than 1,500 acres in Burnet County, Texas. The ranch is owned by Robert, Bridget and Ryan McGowen, and is managed by Jack Henderson and Larry Wilson. After buying the property from eight different landowners to create a contiguous ranch, Robert, Ryan and Jack added bison in 2010 to manage the grassland in harmony with the deer that inhabit the ranch.