WR Photo Essay
Rimrock Ranch Branding
Featuring the photography of Jaymie Dunlap (oh…and her writing, too)
New Mexico is known for its spanning vistas and high mesas overlooking vast expanses of desert. It’s a beautiful, harsh land that, depending on the year, can be a feast or famine scenario for ranchers. Even with its unpredictable weather patterns, the high plains of the eastern half of the state still harbor many small and large operators that call this challenging land home.
Situated in the counties of Quay & Guadalupe, the Rimrock Ranch is an 80,000 acre working cow outfit. First acquired by a Midland, TX based oil company in 1979, the ranch has been managed by Joe & Judy Scott from the start, and now has been taken over by their son Cody & his wife Katelyn. Since its beginning, the ranch has continually expanded in both size and vision.
The Rimrock is situated on the far edge of the Llano Estacado, the flat plains region that encompasses much of the Texas Panhandle and eastern New Mexico, and just east of the Pecos River. The ranch is very diverse in its topography, from lush bottoms to rocky juniper covered mesas. There’s no shortage of prime grazing country complete with plenty of canyons to shield cattle from harsh winter winds, and this beautiful diversity is also home to an expansive variety of wildlife.
With the droughts that plagued the Southwest in the last few years, the cattle numbers on the ranch have dwindled to almost nothing. Recently, however, they have started to rebound back. At one time running 1,250 pair, the ranch now runs about 300 head of commercial cattle & close to 100 head of registered Angus. The registered herd supplies bulls for the ranch to use every year, as well as some for sale.
One of the main objectives of the ranch is not only to make the ranch profitable through its cattle operation, but also to preserve and take care of the land. While the hard drought times in the not so distant past definitely took a toll on the grass cover, the past couple of rainy years have rejuvenated the native grasses and are allowing for a slow recovery.