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Chris Loeffler is having a very active retirement: After 26 years as a public school teacher in California and New Mexico, she started a second career as a farmer in the spring of 2014. The 56-acre plot that she and her husband own in Grants, New Mexico, is too dry for crops and too small for many cattle, so she decided to raise chickens.
Eloy and Anita Roybal raise AWA-certified laying hens and beef cattle at E&A Ranch & Garden in Mora, New Mexico. E&A Ranch & Garden is a member of Los de Mora Local Growers’ Cooperative, Inc., a producer-owned cooperative made up of 35 family farms and ranches in the area. Selling through a cooperative can offer many advantages. For example, by aggregating and coordinating supply, the individual family farm members can secure larger market opportunities that would be impossible to achieve on their own, while cooperatives offer consumers the opportunity to purchase fresh, locally-produced food at a fair price.
Jackie Rossignol and Denis Black both come from farming backgrounds: Jackie’s parents were dairy farmers in New England and Denis’s family ranched in northeast New Mexico. They both studied agriculture—Jackie at the University of Connecticut and Denis at the University of New Mexico. When they eventually got together it just seemed inevitable that they would farm together.
Diane Hale raises AWA laying hens on pasture at 30/30 ranch in Florence, Texas. Researchshowsthat pasture-raised eggs contain three times as much vitamin E, seven times more beta-carotene, and twice the amount of Omega 3 fatty acids as industrially produced eggs. AWA is the only label that requires pasture access for all animals and all AWA standards, policies and procedures are available on this website, making our program one of the most transparent and trustworthy certifications available
Randy Cruz raises AWA-certified laying hens at Cruz Ranch in the small community of Sapello, about 15 miles north of Las Vegas, New Mexico. Chickens raised according to the AWA standards are given continual access to pasture or range to forage for insects and seeds, and have the opportunity to perform natural and instinctive behaviors essential to their health and well-being, such as scratching, pecking, and dust bathing. Scientific research shows that pasture-raised eggs contain three times as much vitamin E, seven times more beta-carotene, and twice the amount of omega 3 fatty acids as industrial eggs.
For several generations, Veronica Serna’s mother’s family raised fruits and vegetables, pigs, dairy cattle and laying hens in Buena Vista, northern New Mexico, making enough to support themselves on farming alone. Over 60 years ago, however, they stopped farming on a large scale when some of her uncles were drafted into the military, leaving behind a few siblings, including her mother, who ended up marrying and leaving the farm for better opportunities. Soon after Veronica’s parents met, they moved to Colorado and then Wyoming, and eventually moved back to northern New Mexico in 1971. Unfortunately, by then the family’s larger acreage had been sold off piece by piece when times were tough, but her parents wanted to return to farming nonetheless. While her father stayed away during the week to work, the rest of the family remained at home to tend to a small herd of cattle and to continue their education.
By Animal Welfare Approved
| December 20, 2013
Jenny Brizal farms five acres in Buena Vista, a small community in the Mora County, New Mexico, which she calls Grandioso Organics LLC. She inherited the land from her father, Juan Brizal, who acquired it from his father, Emilio Brizal, before him. Jenny credits her father with her commitment to continuing the family tradition of small-scale farming and to caring for her land and animals in the traditional way. Although five acres may not sound grandiose, as the farm’s Spanish name indicates, she can produce a surprising amount of food from her family’s land. Today, her mother, Hendrey Martinez, is the farm’s official egg collector.
Roger Gonzales, along with his mother, Carol Romero, and his sister, Cleo Gonzales, run Rancho Carmelo Organic Farms, LLC, a family farm resting on 67 picturesque acres on the eastern slope of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in northern New Mexico. The farm overlooks the valleys of El Carmen and La Aguitas, two of the 17 rural village communities located in Mora County, New Mexico.
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.