Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mesa Verde Ranch Days

Fourth graders head out for a day at Mesa Verde Ranch
Alamogordo Daily News
By Bev Eckman-Onyskow, For the Daily News
Posted: 04/30/2009 12:00:00 AM MDT

The 627 kids from 18 Otero County schools, along with home-schoolers, weren't the only ones impressed with Mesa Verde Ranch Days, held Tuesday and Wednesday west of La Luz.

"This is my first time, and I didn't know all this ranch was out here. I'm surprised at the number of animals," said Senior Airman Shonte Small, while "branding" arrivals with an M-V hand-stamp Wednesday morning.

"I wish I could have done something like this when I was little," added her husband, Airman 1st Class Kenneth Small III. Both are Holloman Air Force Base volunteers. "I assure you this is really educational and beneficial to the future of ranching."

That was the idea behind the establishment of the event a decade ago, to make ranching real to city children who rarely see a cow, horse, sheep or cowboy up close.

The Rabon family members, who own Mesa Verde Enterprises, Inc., were hosts for Ranch Days: Randy and Cheri, Jeff and Judy, and Tim and Debbie. In addition to the three brothers and their wives, their children, grandchildren and mother, Shirley Rabon, were helping out.

"This is our way of giving something back to the community. We have to show the kids what the ranching way of life is all about. If they don't come out here, they won't see it," said Randy Rabon.

Mesa Verde is a working ranch, 13,000 acres with 10 horses, 150 mother cows and an expected crop of more than 130 calves.

"This is a great opportunity for us to see 600 smiling faces," said Jeff Rabon. Read More

Congratulations to the Rabon family, Mesa Verde Ranch, and all of the volunteers for hosting this event. Taking part of day teaching kids about agriculture is a small price to pay when this may be these kids’s only exposure to agriculture during their life. One of the reasons that I like to highlight events like this is that hopefully it will inspire others to do the same. I know that some schools won’t let their kids go out to a farm, but if that’s the case take your farm or ranch to the school. Remember, doing anything to promote agriculture is better than nothing.

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