Written by Leatta McLaughlin, Mclaughlin Farms
Photos: AZ Game & Fish Dept.
I am the 5th generation to be involved in my family’s ranch that was homesteaded in Palo Verde, Arizona. Our property is on the desert so we understand the need to manage the land for scarce resources, such as water and grass. We manage the land and its resources to ensure its use for future generations. Ensuring our cattle have enough to drink and eat, allows them to prosper, and it also benefits the local wildlife (e.g. mule deer, javelina, birds of prey, etc.). Even when our cattle aren’t grazing, we’ve partnered with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to keep water in our troughs year-round so the wildlife will always have access to a clean water source, which we have to pump with a generator. We put salt blocks on our land. The salt blocks provide essential minerals for cattle, which can also be used by the wildlife. We also vaccinate our cattle from contagious and infectious diseases that can be passed to wildlife. Our cattle do not graze year-round to ensure that the vegetation recovers and produces more forage. We respect and love our land and enjoy being able to share our resources with the local wildlife.