We are honored to have been selected the Conservation Ranch for 2015 by the Willcox San-Simon NRCD.

Natural Resource Conservation Districts (NRCDs) were formed in the 1930s when the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), previously known as the Soil Conservation Service, was created in response to the Dust Bowl in the great plains. The service provides technical support and conservation training to farmers and ranchers across America, from installing pipelines to brushwork and whole ranch conservation plans. Participation is strictly voluntary and non-regulatory in nature. Districts are legal subdivisions of the state and as such have legal standing to coordinate with and consult on federal and state agency actions. The districts board members are elected by their peers.

Ranchers and farmers who have implemented and continue to implement conservation programs and practices are nominated by NRCS ranch and crop staff. The district board makes the final decision. We have a coordinated resource management plan with all of the Arizona State Land Dept, US Forest Service, Willcox NRCD, and Arizona Game and Fish. As part of the plan we have replaced and rebuilt 13+ miles of fence, cleaned out two large dirt tanks, and implemented brush removal on 1250+ acres. Work is ongoing to continue improving the grassland for wildlife, our cattle, reduced soil erosion, and improved habitat for endangered species.

As a former NRCS range management specialist, this is especially meaningful to Sonia. She used to nominate folks for these awards and is thrilled to have come full circle. Sonia’s grandparents received a similar award years ago for their work on their farm in Arkansas, which just makes this award all the more poignant.

This has and continues to be a whole family effort. Emily was at work and unavailable for the photo, but as “camp cook” she earned this too!fam pic