Berlier Ranch – Success Based on a Passion for Soil and Range Health

I've had a passion for soil health and range conditions all my life. If we don't maintain our grasslands in a healthy manner and leave them better than we found them, there just won't be anything for our grandchildren and for future generations. Jim Berlier, Berlier Ranch, Encino, New Mexico Jim Berlier says that sustainability is the key to what he's doing. To him that means harvesting forage without doing any harm to the ecosystem and managing in a way that prevents erosion, improves soil health and water quality and enhances wildlife habitat. But it wasn't always that way on the Berlier Ranch. "I guess you'd say in the older generation, [uncle] Theo's generation, people didn't think much about sustainability. They were just here to harvest every blade of grass that grew and thought that was the best way to maximize their profits. But as time went on, they over-grazed this land and ate up all the cool season grasses." When Jim took over the ranch, he decided to put his range science degree to work. He cross fenced pastures as part of a rotational grazing system and ran 15 miles of livestock water lines to improve water and cattle distribution. The changes have improved plant and wildlife diversity, making the ranch more sustainable and profitable. "Everyone else around me is feeding hay, and I haven’t had to feed any hay except to my horses," says Jim. "With proper management, we’re able to manage a short-term drought better than the neighbors that graze more

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