Farmers Behind Your Food: Fieldgrove Ranch, Wyoming
Ryan and Teresa Fieldgrove’s ranch near Buffalo, Wyo., is a cow and calf range operation of more than 10,000 acres of deeded and leased land. His family has ranched in the area for more than 125 years, and he places high value on passing on a land ethic to future generations.
The Fieldgroves adopted conservation practices that improved the health of their land and wildlife, including reducing the number of cattle on the ranch. They found in recent years that cutting the size of the herd helped mitigate complications brought on by drought, improved range conditions and benefitted surrounding wildlife. The family also participates in a sage grouse habitat improvement program, turning four pastures into eight to increase rotational grazing and aerating their pastures, allowing native forage to return and improving the birds’ diet.
The Fieldgroves’ innovative and progressive operating methods are helping to educate future generations on the benefits of land stewardship.
“To me, the most important part of conservation is the mechanism it provides to teach my three children a mindset,” Ryan Fieldgrove said. “Conservation is about solving problems, utilizing existing resources, sacrifice, and hard work. These are all things that are important for my children to see in action.”
The Fieldgrove family was recognized by the Sand County Foundation as the 2011 Leopold Conservation Award winners in Wyoming.
**This story was originally published by the Sand County Foundation.