Ranch Stories: Red Barn Ranch in Las Vegas, New Mexico
By Shaun Johnson
Sitting at the southeast tip of the spectacular Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Las Vegas, New Mexico, Red Barn Ranch is the epitome of a family-owned, family-operated grass-fed beef ranch .
In a day and age when people post their every move on the internet, you’d be hard pressed to find a single photo or bit of information about Red Barn Ranch online (trust me, I’ve tried). That’s just never been what ranching is about for them. When it comes right down to it, the Unruh family runs their ranch for all of the right reasons, prioritizing their love for the land, their animals, the quality of beef they produce and, last but definitely not least, their family.
I recently had the privilege of picking the minds of the Unruh family in an effort to find out more about who they are and what they’re about. Their answers confirmed my initial impressions of them, and then some.
Tell us a little about yourselves
We’ve been raising cattle for many years. We have leased many different little pastures, often the owners offer us a lease because they want short-term rotational grazing to improve the pastures, instead of the traditional year-long grazing on the same acreage. Our home ranch, where the “Red Barn” and main corrals are, is north of Las Vegas, quite literally where the “plains meet the mountains”. So it is mainly gently rolling open grasslands merging into the pinyon and juniper canyons and foothills.
Who makes up “the team” at Red Barn Ranch?
What motivates you as ranchers?
What is it about eating home-raised beef that is so rewarding?
What would you consider to be Red Barn Ranch values:
Why is it important for consumers to learn about regenerative grazing and sustainable ranching?
What should change in the current food production system?
The average age of ranchers and farmers is almost 60 years old. How can we get the younger generation interested in ranching, farming, and the overall food production system?
“Come see us, see the animals and the land!”
Daniel, Deborah Unruh and family at Red Barn Ranch