Video: Ranching on the Mexican Border, by John Ladd

The Social Contract Press

Ranching on the Mexican Border

John Ladd discusses how life on his ranch on the Arizona-Mexico border has been drastically altered by illegal immigration.

John Ladd is a fourth generation rancher on his family's San Jose Ranch, near Naco, Arizona. His great-grandparents homesteaded in 1896, and his grandmother continued ranching along with his mom and dad until the 1970s. His parents bought the ranch from his grandmother and mother's siblings. Along with his parents and wife, he formed a partnership in 1990 that is still on-going with his dad, wife, and three sons.

They raise cross-bred cattle, Hereford, Black Angus, Brahma and Red Angus and ride horseback on their round-ups. The ranch has a good road system and is used for putting out feed, checking waters, and fixing a lot of fences, as they are on the border. He is Second Vice President for Arizona Cattle Growers Association, Second Vice President for Cochise Graham Cattle Growers and was selected for the Arizona Farming and Ranching Hall of Fame. He joined Hereford Natural Resource Conservation District (NRCD) in 1992 as an advisor, following in the footsteps of his elders, became a supervisor in 2013, and recently became chairman. The Hereford NRCD has lost most of the medium-size ranches, due in part, to housing developments on 40-acre parcels that were ranches.

In response to losing the ranching cooperators, the district has started an effort to work with the small land owners. The Ladds have knifed and grubbed 6000 acres of brush and mesquite. Their largest project was the Horseshoe Draw Recharge Project. t captures flood water runoff, recharges the aquifer, and controls sediment going into the San Pedro River. It also stops e-coli from getting into the river. Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Hereford NRCD, and Cochise County were partners on the project. They also have replaced all their windmills with solar pumps. His favorite part of NRCD is being able to get conservation projects off the ground. Future projects will be to continue brush and mesquite control and developing more pipelines and drinkers.


 

 
 

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