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First News Summer 2007

Home on the Range

Christian and Sonja Spahn
Photo courtesy Tom and Inge Bobek
   It was during a vacation to northern New Mexico, when the Spahn family, from Germany, decided to purchase some acreage on the old Brannan Ranch near Trinchera in the Raton area. Christian and Sonja got their Canadian log home finished in 1998 and started a new life on their bison ranch, despite difficulties as alien greenhorns in this new wild country. Friends of the Spahns, Tom and Inge Bobek, from Bavaria, sold their house, horses, everything to move here and manage the ranch.

   It wasn't easy, but they learned to install water systems, build fences, and other facilities that bison require, before the first 20 buffs arrived. Nowadays the ranch has two single-sired herds of 72 animals total on 1,130 acres. These bison are handled as little as possible, feeding off natural grasses, but vaccinated as statutory, and not subject to questionable drugs, chemicals or hormones. People with heart and allergic diseases benefit from this pure, natural product. Bison meat is heart-healthy and prescribed to patients with these kinds of diseases. It's an excellent diet for athletes (high in protein), women (lots of iron), kids and seniors (essential fatty acids, low fat).

   The American Bison has been raised on ranches for more than 100 years. Today there are about 2,000 private persons raising about 300,000 buffalo. An adult female will weigh about 1100 lbs. and a mature bull around 2000 lbs., but they can run up to 30 m.p.h. and jump up to 6 feet high. They are not domesticated and should always be treated with respect and caution. Buffalo have an average life-span of 20-25 years. At the age of three, cows can have their first calf.

   Bison meat tastes great! Most people interviewed feel Bison is the most flavorful meat they ever tasted, with a sweet and rich flavor. It's naturally juicy and tender and can be interchanged with beef in almost any recipe if a few simple instructions are followed. A lower temperature should be used because bison is very lean and will cook more quickly. It has nutritional advantages over other meats, essentially more protein and nutrients with fewer calories and less fat. Bison is a dense meat that tends to satisfy the appetite and has a lower shrinking percentage so you get more meat on the plate. For any questions you’re welcome to call (505) 278-2316.

Newsletter photography by Michael Babnick Photography

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