The Cows Are Coming!

Yes, indeed.  Our ranch will be blessed with bovine returning this May.

When are they arriving?  Beginning May 1st.  When are they leaving?   Gathering up during the first two weeks of August.  How many will be grazing on the Ranch?  No more than 80 animal units are allowed per the grazing lease.  A “unit” is defined as follows:

     * one bull, or

     * one cow with calf (pair), or

     * one yearling (altho a yearling equals 3/4 unit)

The animals are to be spread around the Ranch when unloaded.  Also, during the grazing period, they will be spread out, if necessary, for a more even grazing.  Appropriate care and veterinary attention will be provided throughout the time period by the cattle owner. 

The cattle owner, Justin Mafespini, is a lifelong Trinidad married resident with 4 children.  Mr Mafespini and his family currently run a 120 cow/calf operation in Las Animas County.  His plan is to put only 40-50 pairs on SFTR as he says that he prefers “to stay around that 40 to 50 pairs it’s just better on this fragile range land”.  He also has experience leasing cattle and currently using other areas for grazing.  He says “We spend a lot of time with our cattle moving them around throughout the summer, so they don’t graze off one spot and leave others untouched.”  “I know how hard it is to find good pasture, so I take extra care of it…” “99% of the work” will be done “via horseback so as create as little disturbance as possible”. 

Why are we doing this?  Here are a few reasons….taxes for agriculture are much lower than residential.  As each of our “ranches” is on approximately 35 acres, an agricultural tax cost on a portion of this acreage is significantly lower from the residential tax appropriated by state and county.   Another great reason is the amount of foliage they consume which  aid in our fire mitigation efforts and make our roadways look like a well groomed city park!  Cattle can be an asset to SFTR by incorporating a range land management plan which our Grazing Committee is striving to achieve. 

Just a reminder….Colorado is a “fence out” state.  If you do not want any cattle around your home, it is entirely upon you to provide a barrier.

If you have any questions or concerns, please refer them to the Grazing Committee.  Contact information is located within SFTR website.  You are requested to not contact the cattle owner.


“Moo” to ya’ll and enjoy your summer!


Claudia Henning