Estancia, New Mexico
East Torrance Soil and Water Conservation District
Jim Berlier and his wife Vickie own and operate a cow-calf and yearling operation in Estancia, New Mexico. In the past, Jim has raised grower-feeder cattle and finished cattle in feedlots. He is currently a board member on the East Torrance Soil and Water Conservation District and the president of the New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts.
“When I took over management on my home ranch, it was in poor condition due to overgrazing in the past,” Jim told NACD. “I decided to put my range science degree to work and began cross fencing my pastures so that I could begin a rotational grazing system. I also ran several miles of livestock water lines to better distribute water and cattle.”
Jim began implementing these conservation practices to improve the condition of his rangeland and increase plant diversity.
“With the improved plant community and increased ground cover, I’ve been able to reduce wind and water erosion, which has greatly improved soil health as well. I also removed several hundred acres of invasive juniper trees.”
“Implementing soil health practices has been a win-win situation for me,” he added. “In our 12 to 14 inch rainfall area we have to maximize the effectiveness of every drop of rain we get and I have more than doubled my forage production over the last 20 years through the implementation of these practices.”