Sam Ryerson, Triangle P Cattle Company, Mescalero Apache Reservation

Sam Ryerson is a rancher based in southern New Mexico, where he runs a commercial cow/calf and yearling grass-based ranch. Since 2006, he has cowboyed on ranches from Montana to Arizona, and also in Argentina – learning to combine traditional stockmanship with holistic management techniques and creative marketing strategies. Sam is interested in developing profitable grass-fed enterprises to operate at scale on rangeland ranches.


Vice President:

Nancy Ranney, Ranney Ranch, Corona, NM

Nancy is an owner of the Ranney Ranch, a cow-calf operation in the high mesa country of central New Mexico, near Corona. In 2003, the ranch introduced holistic management practices including intensive rotational grazing and water harvesting techniques. Nancy has developed the AGA (American Grassfed Association) and AWA (Animal Welfare Approved) Ranney Ranch Grass-fed Beef program and direct-markets their unique young range-raised beef.  In addition to serving as President of the SWGLA Board of Directors, she is a member of the New Mexico Cattle Growers, and a board member of the Quivira Coalition.




Michael Bain, General Manager, Twin Willows Ranch Ocate, NM

Michael is a native of Alabama where he spent 25 years training horses and running cattle before moving to New Mexico in 2002. While in New Mexico he has been Executive Director of the Cimarron Watershed Alliance, Land and Water Program Director for the Quivira Coalition, and is currently General Manager of Twin Willows Ranch, Inc. in Ocate, New Mexico. Michael has a MBA and serves on the Board of Directors of the Quivira Coalition and the High Plains Grassland Alliance. He lives with his wife Julie, two dogs, and four horses in Glorieta, New Mexico.


Vanessa Prileson, Rangeland Program Manager, Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation

Vanessa grew up in the suburbs of Tucson, Arizona dreaming about riding her own horses and running a cattle ranch someday.  After minoring in rangeland ecology and management at Oregon State University, Vanessa pursued a ranching internship at the San Juan Ranch in Colorado. She then spent several years working for the US Forest Service in Arizona, attempting to instill grass-based ranching into a conventional system. Vanessa earned her Master of Science degree in Range Science from New Mexico State University in 2013. After working on the 47 Ranch in McNeal, Arizona, in the spring of 2016 she became a Rangeland Program Manager for Pima County, Arizona, managing grazing programs on ranch land the county purchased with open space conservation voter bonds via the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan. One of the main goals of this program is to keep these ranches as working landscapes and as working cattle ranches in tandem with biological conservation.


Nathan Burk, Ranch Hand, JT Land & Cattle, Newkirk, NM

Nathan currently lives and works on a cattle ranch in Eastern New Mexico. He also works as an independent farm and ranch auditor conducting on-site audits for The Global Animal Partnership and the American Grassfed Association. Previously, he has worked in meat processing at Sunnyside Meats in Durango, Colorado, and spent 5 years in meat retail at Whole Foods Market, where he became a Meat Team Leader.  He has a passion for butchering and merchandising meat to maximize value. Nathan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural History and Agroecology from Prescott College. Along with his wife and two young sons, Nathan aspires to manage a ranch or develop a ranching operation of their own.

Joan Bybee, Owner and Operator, Mesteño Draw Ranch, Mountainair, NM

Joan Bybee is a retired professor of linguistics who owns and operates Mesteño Draw Ranch near Mountainair, NM, where she lives with her husband, Ira Jaffe. For the last fifteen years, she has worked on riparian and rangeland restoration on her ranch. Since 2008, she has produced and marketed grass-fed beef, using sustainable practices. She has been on the board of the Quivira Coalition and served as board chair from 2008-20013.

Ed Fredrickson, Associate Professor, Department of Agriculture, Eastern Kentucky University. 

Specializing in Ecology and Animal Sciences, Ed’s research Goals are to develop uses of livestock and poultry in agroecological applications improving the profitability and sustainability of Kentucky family farms while conserving Kentucky’s natural heritage.  Formerly a Research Scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service at the Jornada Experimental Range in Las Cruces, NM, he studied desert ecology, arid land remediation, and agricultural production systems in arid lands with emphasis on grazing livestock.  His work includes extensive research on climate appropriate heritage breeds of livestock, including the criollo cattle from Mexico.  Ed provides an enlightening perspective on traditional cultures of the desert Southwest; their various agricultural methods and adaptations.

Virginie Pointeau, Quivira Coalition, New Agrarian Program

Virginie Pointeau has been with the Santa Fe-based Quivira Coalition for over four years, where she serves as director for the New Agrarian Program. The New Agrarian Program partners with skilled ranchers and farmers throughout the Southwest to offer annual apprenticeships in regenerative agriculture. Through this program, Virginie strives to create opportunities for comprehensive, full-immersion experiential learning from expert practitioners in real-life professional settings. Virginie came to Quivira with a variety of previous experience, including a Masters Degree in Forestry and a decade with Outward Bound, working out of a canoe in the lake wilderness of northern Minnesota. Virginie’s work with Quivira merges her love for people, ecology and regenerative agricultural systems into a single focus: training the next generation of ranchers and farmers. She also serves on the board of National Young Farmers Coalition.


Deborah Madison, Author, Chef and Cooking Teacher

Deborah Madison served on the SWGLA board for the first few years and has recently returned. A format chef, author of fifteen cookbooks and numerous articles on food and farming, Deborah lives in Galisteo, New Mexico where she has no cattle or sheep or goats, just a brown dog. She is committed to the importance and vitality of New Mexico ranchers who are working to raise good meat while benefitting their land and hopes to support them as a consumer.


Darrell Wood, Leavitt Lake Ranches LLC  Vina, CA President and Founder, Panorama Meats

Darrell is a sixth-generation full-time rancher and owner of Leavitt Lake Ranches in Susanville and Vina, California. In 2001, he and his wife, Callie, began raising grass-fed cattle on their 40,000 acres of family-owned and leased rangelands in Northern California. As a co-founder of Panorama Meats, Darrell created environmental stewardship protocols that are now practiced by many of Panorama’s more than 50 family ranchers in nine states. A national leader in rangeland preservation, Darrell was a founding member, 14-year board member and past president of the California Rangeland Trust. He also served as former chairman, past president and is currently a board member of the Partnership of Rangeland Trusts. Darrell was honored for grassland stewardship by the Society for Range Management in 1999, received the 2010 California Beef Cattle Improvement Association’s Outstanding Seedstock and Commercial Producer of the Year Award, and won the 2009 National Environmental Stewardship Award from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He received one of three 2006 National Wetlands Conservation Awards from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Darrell also served as Vice President of the California Cattlemen’s Association and President of the Lassen County Cattleman’s Association.


Advisory Board Members

Cheryl Goodloe, Carrizo Valley Ranch, Capitan, NM

Cheryl is currently a rancher/”go-fer extraordinare” and volunteer E.D. for Southern Rockies Agricultural Land Trust.  She has also served as a public school teacher, private school teacher, hospitality industry person and Asst. to General Manager for several hotels.  Cheryl is a founding Member of both the AgriTourism Advisory Council of New Mexico and SWGLA.  She and her husband Sid Goodloe are dedicated to sharing resource management techniques learned over 60 years in ranching and international consulting.  Most recently this includes rehabilitation of rangelands and forest, with emphasis on watershed restoration.


Mimi Sidwell, JX Ranch, Tucumcari, NM

Born in Sweden, Mimi traveled to the U.S. in 1988, with a life-long dream to ranch. The desire to work outdoors with cattle and horses and wide open spaces was realized when she started learning the ropes helping out on ranches throughout New Mexico. Mimi and her husband Tom ranch south of Tucumcari, NM, using holistic range management practices. They raise and direct market all-natural grass-fed beef; retail cuts as well as custom cut quarters, halves and whole beef –