Working with local cowboys, we aim to implement responsible, long-term, productive ranching practices.
With guidance from Savory Institute accredited expert Ivan Aguirre from Rancho La Inmaculada, we are developing a strategic plan for Rancho Cacachilas to improve the productivity of our lands. Planned livestock grazing, as opposed to traditional free grazing, is a key element of this holistic management model. With the help of our animals, we work towards improving the efficiency of soil nutrient cycles and water retention processes.
In December 2014, we began grazing 42 head of cattle on our ranches. We use transportable enclosures to move the cattle from one location to another, which allows us to cover large areas while also giving the land time to recover.
To improve productivity throughout the region, we implement programs to share what we learn with other ranches. We hope that by understanding the interactions among plants, animals, soil and water, and by reevaluating grazing methods, all of us can manage livestock in a way that enriches the soil, fosters biodiversity and reduces soil erosion.
Learn more about the benefits of Holistic Management as outlined by Holistic Management International.
In 2015, biologist Florent Jacques Francois Gomis, from CIBNOR (Center for Biological Research of the Northwest in La Paz), conducted his Master’s research project on the livestock management and grazing program at Rancho Cacachilas. Under the supervision of Dr. Sergio Alvarez Cárdenas, Florent completed his thesis in June 2016 and received a Master of Science in the Usage, Management and Preservation of Natural Resources, with an orientation toward the Ecology of Arid Zones.
In July 2016, Florent attended a ten-day permaculture course in Tecate, B.C. Since then, we are fortunate to have him working with us on many projects, including preparation of crop production for our tourism programs.
Note: on page ii of the PDF is a one-page summary of Florent's thesis in English.
We also have a program to reintroduce Criollo cattle to the region. Prized for its ability to thrive in desert conditions, Criollo is the oldest known cattle breed in the Americas and was originally brought to this continent by Christopher Columbus in the 1400's.
We include mules and horses in our planned grazing program. We use these animals to work on the ranches and in some of our tourism programs.
We encourage you to watch the entertaining 23-minute film below — Corazón Vaquero: The Heart of the Cowboy (2013) — which portrays the historic importance of cowboy traditions, and Baja California's final frontier.