History & Philosophy

We believe in…

  • land practices that improve the health of our soil, cows, and watershed
  • healthy food for our community
  • engaging in a conversation about the connections between people, food, and the environment
  • producing superior grassfed beef

Our Story

The Ranney Ranch has been in our family since 1968, but was first homesteaded back in the 1800’s. A number of cabins, cisterns and water catchment structures can still be found on the ranch testifying to the greater population that the land supported in earlier times. There are even outlines of bean fields and the ruins of an old school house. Before that we know that Pueblo Indians settled in this area around 1100 A.D. We often find arrowheads, pottery shards and even a turquoise bead or two on the old pueblo sites. Up on a high mesa ridge you can still spot the petroglyph of a coyote keeping watch over the valley below.

In 1968, George and Nancy Ranney bought two adjoining ranches along the Gallo Canyon near the town of Corona, New Mexico. They built a new headquarters and family home and experimented with different breeds of cattle on the rugged landscape. In 1983, Melvin Johnson took over as manager and nurtured the development of an Angus/Black Baldy herd, gaining a solid local reputation for fine replacement heifers and breeding stock bulls.

The mid 1990’s witnessed an ominous shift to drier times and by 2002, when the next generation took the reins, the ranch could no longer sustain the livestock numbers of the lush 1970’s and 1980’s. A new management program, “planned rotational grazing”, was implemented under the guidance of Kirk Gadzia, Resource Management Services and in short order, even during extreme drought years in the Corona area, we witnessed a remarkable resurgence of native grassland species and the recovery of our soils and pastures. The good news is that not only have we been able to increase our livestock carrying capacity and to establish the Ranney Ranch Grassfed Beef program, we have also come to appreciate that these practices have the potential to regenerate soils across the American West, thereby increasing water retention potential and storing large quantities of soil carbon. See our Posts for more!