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**HMI EVENT** Open Gate: Creating a Future for Ranching in SW Colorado – Dolores, CO

September 28, 2019

Dove Creek, Colorado
September 28, 2019 — 8:30AM – 4:45PM — $20 (includes lunch!)

See how Cachuma Ranch and Fozzie’s Farm are working to create a future ranching and farming in SW Colorado.  Hear about Ken Lausten’s vision for the 8th generation of his family ranch and Jay Loschert’s passion to foster community engagement in agriculture with place based experiential learning.  Hear how they are using livestock and innovative approaches restore land health and productivity, increase financial viability, and develop good working relationships with neighbors and the agricultural community.


  • Multi-generational Ranching – challenges and joys
  • Regenerative Grazing with Holistic Management
  • Evaluating Land and Soil Health
  • Handling and Moving Animals – old and new ways
  • Animal Performance in Rangeland Environment
  • Significance of Heritage Breeds
  • Grass Finished Meat Production
  • Place Based Education and Land Conservation
  • Irrigated Pasture and Forage Management
  • Open Discussion and Sharing



Saturday September 28, 2019
8:30 AM Meet at Dolores County Public Service Center, 8477 Rd 7.7, Dove Creek, CO 81324. Refreshments provided.
9:00 AM Travel to and tour Cachuma Ranch in Disappointment Valley approx. 30 miles
12:00 PM Box Lunches Served – Please Register by September 20th to assure you will receive lunch. Details for ordering provided upon registration.
1:00 PM Travel to and tour Fozzie’s Farm at 19760 Rd W Lewis, Colorado, approx. 50 miles
4:45 PM 4:45 PM Adjourn

Note: An optional Evening Program may be added. Details forth coming.


Cachuma Ranch Family

Grandma Kat, Lacey, Ken, Lucas, Kathy, Uncle Ty will share their intriguing story about how they are seeking to sustain their family’s heritage and carry forward the wisdom gained through seven generations of experience working with livestock and the land. This include surviving the loss of family land in California and re-establishing their selves in Colorado.


Jay Loschert, Education & Outreach Coordinator for the Montezuma Land Conservancy

Jay Loschert serves as the Education and Outreach Coordinator for MLC and is charged with managing Fozzie’s Farm as well as developing and delivering educational programs.  Fozzie’s Farm is MLC’s own 83-acre conserved farm. Jay moved to Montezuma County in the spring of 2000 after teaching and living on the nearby Navajo Reservation for nine years.  It was there he fell in love with the wide-open spaces and rugged beauty of the Four Corners area. His work at Montezuma Land Conservancy is inspired by a childhood experience where he witnessed an old growth hardwood forest where he and his dad collected firewood from a farmer’s woodlot converted to suburban subdivisions. MLC represents our community’s appreciation for agriculture, open space, and commitment to inspire the next generation of conservationists. ” I came to SW Colorado for the scenery, but I stayed for the community.

Cindy Dvergsten, Professional Certified Educator, Holistic Management International and Owner of Whole New Concepts, LLC

Cindy Dvergsten, lives near Dolores CO and has practiced Holistic Management since 1993 and has been an HMI Certified Educator since 1995. She serves business management consultant with the local Small Business Development Center and operates Arriola Sunshine Farm. She will facilitate the tour and present an overview of Holistic Management. She has worked with new and beginning farmers, local food systems, Native Americans, and non-profits facilitating learning in whole farm planning, natural resource management, community and organizational development, business planning and enterprise development.  She holds a degree in Natural Resource Management and Soil Science from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and is a lifelong farmer with experience raising sheep, beef, poultry, fruits and vegetables, grass-fed production.


Register Button Green Large


Advanced registration is $20 per person (includes lunch). Online registration closes September 20, 2019.  Late registrations and walk-ins will not receive lunch or printed materials.

Register soon, as we have limited space available. Sorry, registration fees are non-refundable.

If you are unable to register online, please fill out the HMI Event Registration Form and mail along with your check or money order to:

HMI Registration Dept.
5941 Jefferson St. NE, Ste B
Albuquerque, NM 87109

Contact: Cindy Dvergsten at [email protected] with questions.

Weather & Environment:
Mid-September in Colorado can be very warm and dry, or cool and wet. Come prepared for both! Average highs are in 70’s and lows in the 40’s. The elevations on this tour will be 5000-6500 feet. Bring sunscreen and a hat as the sun is intense here. Bring water bottles as this is a semi-arid environment and staying hydrated is important. The ranch at Disappointment Valley is very remote and there is little cover. Plan accordingly if you have health issues.

This is a rain or shine event. Please bring appropriate clothing, footwear and a water bottle. For biosecurity reasons please do not bring any dogs.


There are numerous hotels, motels, guest ranches and campgrounds to choose from in Dolores and Cortez. Here are a few to consider:

Dolores River Campground and Cabins (970) 882-7761
Dolores Mountain Inn (970) 882-7203
Holiday Inn Express Cortez (970) 565-6000
Super 8 Motel Cortez (970) 235-2553
Cortez Mesa Verde KOA Cortez (970) 565-9301
Best Western Turquoise Inn & Suites Cortez (970) 565-3778


Meet at Dolores County Public Service Center (Click here for directions)

8477 Rd 7.7

Dove Creek, CO


Fozzie Farm: (Click here for directions)

19760 Rd W

Lewis, Colorado

Cachuma Ranch:

Cachuma Ranch, located in Dolores, Colorado, is a small family ranch dedicated to fostering a lifestyle that honors Western ranching heritage and cultural values and raising cattle in a way that reflects the natural environment. The ranch is owned and managed by Kathryn Wilder, her son and daughter in-law, Ken and Kathy Lausten, and their children. They are 7th generation livestock ranchers and currently three generations are working side-by-side every day to ensure their land stays healthy and productive.

They raise Criollo cattle which were introduced to the Americas by Columbus and have history in the American Southwest dating back to 1598. They are considered a heritage breed and are under study by the Livestock Conservancy. Ideally adapted to their environment, these small-framed cows express many ancient cattle characteristics and intelligence that allows them to thrive on their rugged rangelands. The Criollo produce excellent grass-fed and finished beef, which the ranch sells at local farmers markets and one butcher shop. The ranch is still in the early stages of building their herd and establishing their market for grass fed beef. Practicing holistic management has helped them with making sound decisions.

Their passion is managing rangelands, and their cattle spend much of the year in Disappointment Valley, 40 miles north of Dolores, CO. Cattle are moved to the upper portions of the valley where they graze cool-season perennial grasses and a variety of browse. Mid-winter the cattle are driven to the middle valley, again grazing and browsing the same grasses and shrubs. Cattle are moved again to the lower valley where they graze warm-season perennials grasses in the lower elevations during calving, which lasts from late March to mid-May. They return to irrigated pastures at Fozzie’s’ Farm in June at the start of summer.

Cachuma Ranch owns and leases pasture and rangeland, and one of their partnerships involves the Montezuma Land Conservancy and Fozzie’s Farm. They have formed a solid partnership with the Conservancy to improve and restore productivity to the farm.  They finish their heritage cattle on irrigated pastures at Fozzie’s and utilize holistic planned grazing and semi-permanent electric fences to graze a combined herd of cow and calf pairs, yearlings, and 28-month-old finishing steers.

Their management team continues to learn about and realize the benefits of practicing holistic management. They strategize to combine herds for maximum animal impact, plan their grazing according to the recovery needs of the grass and maximize animal performance. They practice traditional herding and livestock handling as well as implement new modalities and fencing solutions. Their ranch story, the ways they operate and how they relate to the public has been influenced by their holistic goal. Perhaps the most important is their choice of cattle, as they feel their Criollo’s have an important future in the Southwest and the next generation of ranchers in their family.

Fozzie’s Farm:

Fozzie’s Farm is an 83 acre irrigated farm operated by the Montezuma Land Conservancy. Established in 1998 to conserve special lands in our community, the Montezuma Land Conservancy (MLC) is an innovative local land trust working to protect lands and reconnect community to our natural world in the stunning southwest corner of Colorado. They have worked with over 75 families in conserving 44,500 acres in SW Colorado. In 2016, the MLC Board of Directors decided to take a novel approach by expanding their portfolio to provide place-based education and outreach.

The donated land had a conservation easement to keep it in agricultural production and was designated to be passed on to MLC to serve as a means to encourage future generations of farmers and supporters of land conservation. Not only does the farm serve to educate the public, but also serves to help MLC to understand the challenges of agriculture, stewardship and land ownership, and thus improve their ability to work with landowners on designing conservation easements.

Cindy Dvergsten, a local Holistic Management-certified educator has worked with MLC to set a holistic goal, establish base-line biological monitoring and develop a farm business and operations plan.  Land management challenges they have faced include controlling a well-established prairie dog community, repairing the irrigation system, implementing irrigation water management and controlling weeds.  Other challenges include developing financial sustainability and good working relationships with neighbors and agricultural community.

Today Fozzie’s Farm is a budding farm education center that is taking a unique community approach to connecting people to land, and to each other. Since programming began in 2017 Fozzie’s has hosted over 750 youth and 200 adults. This year, an educational facility was completed, and MLC continues to coordinate with other organizations, schools and agencies to build a solid land management and education program that implements regenerative agriculture practices.



Special thank you to our funder for making this day possible!

Ballantine Family Fund

Thank you to our host and collaborators:


Sponsor This Series:

Our Open Gate series offers organizations, agencies and businesses a great opportunity to network with farmers, ranchers and consumers interested in sustainable agricultural ideas, products and services. We offer a variety of affordable Sponsorship Opportunities to connect you with our community. Please email Stephanie von Ancken at [email protected] for more information.



September 28, 2019
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