Manzano Angus is a family operation, owned and run by Bill and Lisa Gardner with their sons Cole, Judd and Clayton. Cole operates the Yeso ranch, with his wife Megan, and their children Cade, Laney and Macey. Clayton and his wife Michelle run the Double Arrow Ranch east of Estancia for Manzano Cattle LLC. Judd works in Washington DC as an Agriculture Legislative Assistant.
The Manzano Angus herd was established with the purchase of three registered pairs on February 13, 1993 at the Cochise Angus dispersal in Arizona. Shortly after, six pairs and four bred heifers were purchased from Bradley 3 Ranch in Memphis, Texas. That same year a lease agreement was made with Peterson Angus Ranch in Animas, New Mexico, where we kept the heifer calves and sent them the bull calves. In subsequent years a number of bred heifers were also purchased from N Bar Land and Cattle in Montana.
Early on we recognized that in order to make rapid genetic progress, artificial insemination (AI) was essential. Our first AI calves were born in 1994 to Emulation N Bar 5522 and N Bar Emulation EXT. Because our goal from the beginning was to raise moderate framed, functional cattle, we used EXT extensively. As a result of the strong EXT base, our cowherd is fertile, has excellent udders and excellent growth.
In 1998 we started looking for cattle to complement our EXT females. Because of our goal to raise moderate framed, easy fleshing cattle, we naturally gravitated to cattle with DHD Traveler 6807 influence. Our first calves out of GDAR Traveler 044 were born in 1999. We continued to search for the kind of moderate framed, easy fleshing, low birth weight cattle we felt our customers needed in our low rainfall environment. That search led us the Ohlde Cattle Co. in Kansas. Our first OCC Anchor calves were born in 2001. In the following years we used Emblazon, Echelon and Legend extensively and have many productive daughter of these sires in our herd. We also began to use OCC Homer on many of our first calf heifers and continue to use him today. His combination of calving ease and the ability to produce easy fleshing, efficient, fertile females is unique and still works very well today.
Over the past three years we have heavily used OCC Paxton and several of his sons. Paxton has allowed us to maintain our moderate sized, easy keeping cows without injecting more “6807” influence. Paxton’s EPD package(moderate birth, strong growth and carcass, moderate milk and mature size) combined with his phenotype (thick, sound, big bodied, moderate, great teats and udders) fits our program as well as any bull in the breed today. He is an OCC Focus son, as is Homer, and we plan to continue using Focus influenced cattle in the near future.
Finally, while well over half of our calves continue to be AI and ET calves, we have began to keep and use more of our bulls as herd sires. The acquisition of the Yeso Ranch in 2008 demanded that we use more natural sires. We feel that the herd sires we are keeping and using within our herd are of the same quality as most AI sires. Check out some of the bulls we use within our herd on the “Sires” page.
The original ranch in the Estancia Valley was purchased in 1989 from Lee and Ruth Elliott. The ranch is at an elevation of approximately 6,200 feet. Annual precipitation is 12 inches. Primary grasses include Blue Grama, Alkali Sacaton, Western Wheat and Viney Mesquite.
The Yeso ranch was purchased in 2007. Elevation is approximately 4,800 feet and annual precipitation is around 14 inches. The Yeso ranch has both solid turf and sandy country. Primary grasses are Blue Grama, Side Oats Grama, Sand Dropseed, Buffalo Grass, Viney Mesquite and Little Bluestem.
The Double Arrow Ranch is located East of Estancia. Manzano Cattle LLC leased the ranch in 2013 from Roe Greene and Terri Greene League. Primary grasses are Blue Grama, Alkali Sacaton, Sand Dropseed, Black Gramma and Indian Rice Grass.