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Our cattle are a Hereford-Charolais-Angus cross. Our calves are born in large pastures at Rancho Ojo de Agua (near Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico, across the border from Del Rio, TX) where they graze on native forage that is never fertilized or exposed to chemicals or pesticides.
After we wean our calves, we bring them to Devine, Texas, where they enjoy improved, irrigated pasture. At our Devine pasture, we practice intensive rotational grazing with a series of electrically-fenced paddocks. We rotate our cattle every few days so they always have access to fresh grass and so the pasture rests and recuperates after being grazed. We also started a rotational grazing program at the larger and more arid Ojo de Agua, and we're excited to see the results of rest in our pastures. We handle our cattle in a low-stress manner that ensures their well-being and a quality finished meat product.
In the process of caring for our animals in this way, we get to know each one on an individual basis. Cattle are really lovely animals, and we take pride in giving them good lives and when the time comes, respectful and humane deaths. We take our animals to the processor ourselves. We get our beef processed at Uvalde Meat Market and Processing, a TDA-inspected facility, where it is dry-aged for maximum flavor and tenderness.
We then sell our beef at farmers' markets in San Antonio, from our San Antonio office, and by delivery to Del Rio, Texas. When you buy our meat, you know that it's from cattle that have never been confined to a feedlot, implanted with growth hormones, or been fed or corn or subtherapeutic antibiotics.
Rancho Ojo de Agua has been in my family for six generations - since the 1840's. El Ojo de Agua is one piece of what was once a much larger ranch called the San Gregorio. The ranch house at headquarters is one of the oldest structures in the area.
The modern history of the ranch begins with my father's arrival in 1970. My father, Guillermo "Memo" Canseco, took over the ranch after the death of its former owner, his grandmother, Margarita Zambrano de Canseco. The ranch was largely undeveloped prior to Memo’s settling on the ranch, but over the following decades he established a first-class cow-calf operation, producing the finest beef cattle in the region. In 1995, Memo acquired the nearby Rancho La Chuparrosa, a peninsula on Lake Amistad that includes miles of unrivaled lakeside shoreline.
Today we run Rancho Ojo de Agua and Rancho La Chuparrosa with an eye toward the future and a healthier planet. We use Holistic Planned Grazing with our herd to mimic natural grazing patterns that keep grasslands healthy and soils alive. This allows us to do our part in stopping the cycle of human-caused desertification accelerated by the adoption of large, permanently-fenced pastures about a century ago in much of the world. We keep our herd together and moving frequently to ensure that the land gets the necessary hoof-trampling, fertilization, and rest it needs to be able to recover healthier and more alive than before, storing carbon inside the earth in the process! Our unified cow-calf operation produces a mixture of Hereford, Black Angus, and Charolais calves that are prized in the market for their excellent genetics.
My father Memo Canseco horseback at the ranch in the mid-'80s (below)
Below, my sister and I assess the corral