Ranch Tour


Join us for a fun, educational tour featuring regenerative agriculture and holistic management on September 28th 2019,   We start in Dove Creek Colorado and travel to first Cachuma’s Ranch range land in Disappointment Valley and then to their irrigated land at Fozzie’s Farm which is owned by Montezuma Land Conservancy. 

Register Today— Only $20 per person —lunch included     Click here: for more details on speakers, logistics and to register on-line

Discover how Cachuma Ranch & Fozzie’s Farm are working to create a future for ranching & farming.  Be inspired with Ken & Kathy Lausten’s vision for the 8th generation of their family ranch and Jay Loschert’s, passion to foster community engagement in agriculture.  Hear how they are using livestock and innovative approaches restore land health and productivity, increase financial viability, and develop good working relationships in the community. Find ways you can improve your land health, bottom line and quality of life and build towards a sustainable future!

Topics on this tour will include:

Multi-generational Ranching – challenges & joys

Evaluating Land and Soil Health

Handling and Moving Animals – old & new ways

Animal Performance in Rangeland Environment

Significance of Heritage Breeds

Grass Finished Meat Production

Regenerative Grazing with Holistic Management

Place Based Education and Land Conservation

Irrigated Pasture and Forage Management

Open Discussion and Sharing



8:30 AM sharp! Meet at Dolores County Public
Service Center, 8477 Rd 7.7, Dove Creek, CO
Refreshments provided. Click here to: Get Directions  

9:15 AM  Travel to and tour Cachuma Ranch in
Disappointment Valley approx. 30 miles. 

12:00 Noon Box Lunches Served – Register by
September 20th  to assure you will receive lunch. (Details provided upon registration.)

1:00 PM Travel to and tour Fozzie’s Farm at 19760 Rd W  Lewis, Colorado, approx. 50 miles

Get Directions to Fozzie’s Farm

4:45 PM Adjourn

Enjoy Meeting Others & Sharing Experiences – 

Come prepared for remote conditions and the weather— rain or shine!

Weather and Environment

Mid-September in Colorado can be very warm and dry, or cool and wet.  Come prepared for both!  Average highs are in 70’s and lows in the 40’s.  The elevations on this tour will be 5000-6500 feet.  Bring sunscreen and a hat as the sun is intense here. Bring water bottles as this is a semi-arid environment and staying hydrated is important.  The ranch at Disappointment Valley is very remote and there is little cover.  Plan accordingly if you have health issues.


There are numerous hotels, motels, guest ranches and campgrounds to choose from in Dolores and Cortez.  Here are a few to consider:

Dolores River Campground and Cabins (970) 882-7761

Dolores Mountain Inn  (970) 882-7203

Holiday Inn Express Cortez (970) 565-6000

Super 8 Motel Cortez (970) 235-2553

Cortez Mesa Verde KOA Cortez (970) 565-9301

Best Western Turquoise Inn & Suites Cortez (970) 565-3778

Major Area Attractions:

  • Cortez, Dolores and Mancos feature many fine restaurants, breweries and coffee shops, too numerous to list.
  • Anasazi Heritage Center – Museum and Ruins and Artifacts (970) 882-5600 Just 10 miles away
  • Mesa Verde National Park – 40 miles east of Cortez. Requires minimum of half day to tour
  • Hovenweep National Monument – within an hour of Cortez, allow minimum of half day.
  • Late September is color season in Colorado. Beautiful fall color drives abound in nearby San Juan National Forest.

Program Details

The Open Gate tour will feature Cachuma Ranch, owned by managed by Kathryn Wilder, her son and daughter-in-law Ken and Kathy Lausten and their children Lacy and Lucas. Located in Dolores, Colorado, Cachuma Ranch is a small family ranch dedicated to fostering a lifestyle that honors Western ranching heritage and cultural values and raising cattle in a way that reflects the natural environment. We are 7th generation livestock ranchers and currently three generations are working side-by-side every day to ensure our land stays healthy and productive.

We raise Criollo cattle which were introduced to the Americas by Columbus and have history in the American Southwest dating back to 1598. They are considered a heritage breed and are under study by the Livestock Conservancy. Ideally adapted to our environment, our small-framed cows express many ancient cattle characteristics and intelligence that allows them to thrive on our rugged rangelands.  They produce excellent grass-fed and finished beef, which we sell at local farmers markets and one butcher shop.  We are still in the early stages of building our herd and establishing our market. Practicing holistic management has helped us with making sound decisions.

Cachuma Ranch owns and leases pasture and range land, and one of our partnerships involves the Montezuma Land Conservancy and Fozzie’s Farm.  We have formed a solid partnership with the Conservancy to improve and restore productivity to the farm.  (see more about Fozzie’s Farm below.) We finish our heritage cattle on irrigated pastures and utilize holistic planned grazing and semi-permanent electric fences to graze a combined herd of cow and calf pairs, yearlings, and 28-month-old finishing steers.

Our passion is managing range lands, and our cattle spend much of the year in Disappointment Valley, 40 miles north of Dolores. Cattle are moved to the upper portions of the valley where they graze cool-season perennial grasses and a variety of browse. Mid-winter the cattle are driven to the middle valley, again grazing and browsing the same grasses and shrubs. Cattle are moved again to the lower valley where they graze warm-season perennials grasses in the lower elevations during calving, which lasts from late March to mid-May. They return to irrigated pastures Fozzies’ Farm in June at the start of summer.

Our operation continues to learn about and realize the benefits of practicing holistic management.  We strategize to combine herds for maximum animal impact, plan our grazing according the recovery needs of the grass and maximize animal performance.  We practice traditional herding and livestock handling as well as implement new modalities and fencing solutions.  Our ranch story, the ways we operate and how we relate to the public have been influenced by our holistic goal. Perhaps the most important is our choice of cattle, as we feel our Criollo’s have an important future in the Southwest and the next generation of ranchers in our family.

The tour will also feature Fozzie’s Farm an 83 acre irrigated farm operated by the Montezuma Land Conservancy. Established in 1998 to conserve special lands in our community, the Montezuma Land Conservancy (MLC) is an innovative local land trust working to protect lands and reconnect community to our natural world in the stunning southwest corner of Colorado. In 2016, the MLC Board of Directors decided to take a novel approach by expanding their portfolio to provide place-based education and outreach.

The donated land had a conservation easement to keep it in agricultural production and was designated to be passed on to MLC to serve as a means to encourage future generations of farmers and supporters of land conservation. Not only does the farm serve to educate the public, but also serves to help MLC to understand the challenges of agriculture, stewardship and land ownership, and thus improve their ability to work with landowners on designing conservation easements.

Cindy Dvergsten, a local Holistic Management-certified educator has worked with MLC to set a holistic goal, establish base-line biological monitoring and develop a farm business and operations plan.  Land management challenges they have faced include controlling a well-established prairie dog community, repairing the irrigation system, implementing irrigation water management and controlling weeds.  Other challenges include developing financial sustainability and good working relationships with neighbors and agricultural community.

Today Fozzie’s Farm is a budding farm education center that is taking a unique community approach to connecting people to land, and to each other.  Since programming began in 2017 Fozzie’s has hosted over 750 youth and 200 adults. This year, an educational facility was completed and MLC continues to coordinate with other organizations, schools and agencies to build a solid land management and education program that implements regenerative agriculture practices.

The tour will include a visit to both Disappointment Valley and Fozzie’s Farm and will be led by Cindy Dvergsten, HMI Certified Educator, the Lausten Family and Jay Loschert, Outreach and Education Coordinator for MLC.