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Visintainer Sheep Company, Colorado

Farmers Behind Your Food: Visintainer Sheep Company, Colorado

Dean Visintainer and his son Gary jointly run the Visintainer Sheep Co., a sheep and cattle ranch in Moffat County, Colo., where concern for the land has always been essential to their management approach. 

Across generations, the Visintainers continually adapted to a changing environment and economy. Most recently, father and son decided to move away from production-based management and toward a “forage-based” system aimed at improving the health of the range.

This critical change in philosophy, coupled with decades of monitoring and observation, led them to diversify their livestock to both sheep and cattle. This allowed them to emphasize protection of wildlife species as well, including deer, elk, pronghorn, greater sage grouse and Columbian sharp-tailed grouse. Today, their ranch is a true refuge for many wildlife species.

 

The Visintainer family was recognized by the Sand County Foundation as the 2013 Leopold Conservation Award winners in Colorado.

**This story was originally published by the Sand County Foundation.