HMI is excited to announce that long-time Holistic Management practitioners Tom and Mimi Sidwell of the JX Ranch near Tucumcari, New Mexico were recently awarded the 2023 NM Leopold Conservation Award. The JX Ranch also received the Outstanding Holistic Management Demonstration Site Award from HMI.
The Sidwells have managed the 7,000-acre JX ranch through many droughts and they have still consistently increased the forage production so that it now takes 27 acres to feed a cow where it once took 58 acres. They have put in more water and fence infrastructure to create 30 paddocks to improve this once over-grazed landscape into a healthy grassland that has increased soil cover and water infiltration. With a rainfall of less than 16 inches a year, they have developed a series of 6 wells to pump water through 10 miles of pipeline with storage tanks that hold 100,000 gallons of water.
Their planned grazing has resulted in improved wildlife habitat for quail, turkey, antelope, and elk. They also breed Angus with Spanish Creole cattle for a smaller frame animal suited to this rough landscape. Besides their cattle enterprise, the Sidwells direct market their beef and have some guest ranching cabins.
The Sidwells have been involved in a number of research projects including one study that looked at the ground cover and productivity of the Sidwell’s side of the fence versus their neighbors. They found that the Sidwells had 27% more productivity on their side of the fence.
Congratulations to Tom and Mimi!