That’s What I’m Talkin’ ‘Bout: Win for the Land, Win for Ranchers

Here’s a great video from Mesa de Maya Ranch in Colorado, Environmental Stewardship Award winner representing Region V of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.. They work hard to take care of the land so it takes care of the cows which take care of them.

From: Colorado Cattlemen’s Association,


Mesa De Maya Ranch, owned by the Doherty family of Branson, Colo. is the 2010 regional Environmental Stewardship Award winner representing Region V of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

John and Carolyn Doherty own and manage the ranch, along with son Joe, his wife Lisa and their sons, who make the fifth generation to live on Mesa de Maya. The ranch has a long history of visionary land stewardship.

John Doherty’s mother, “Tiny” Doherty, was one of the first individuals to enroll in the Soil Conservation Service’s Great Plains Conservation Program. Under this contract, the ranch began a variety of stewardship practices, such as pitting pastures for water retention, cross fencing and using windmills to distribute water.

Today, the Doherty’s run a 500-head Red Angus commercial cow-calf operation on some 48,000 acres of short grass prairie, elevated mesas, and twisting red canyons. While cattle are the core business, the Doherty’s make managing the land’s natural native forages a top priority. Water is another ongoing resource issue, in an area that receives only 9 to 14 inches of rain a year.

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I was raised in Northern California on a sheep ranch. I'm passionate about working landscapes – balancing the interests of agriculture, thriving rural communities, and healthy natural resources. My husband Richard – the Professor - is a teacher. We live in Idaho with our horses, dogs, and close-by daughter and her family. I'm taking a trip soon and have attempted to introduce readers to some important backstories that will be helpful to understand the context for my observations. To read them, go to Topics in the sidebar and select Rambles with Ruby.

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