Lesli is a founding member and chief executive of the Western Landowners Alliance. She was also a founding member of the Chama Peak Land Alliance. For the past three decades,...
Duke IV and Ed sit down with Molly Baldrige, who is the owner of the MP Ranch. Located in the rocky juniper pinon hills of central New Mexico cattle country, the MP Ranch has been an important part of Molly’s family history for decades. And as you’ll hear in this conversation, Molly feels a deep, even spiritual, connection to the landscapes and history of the ranch, and she has a strong desire to steward the land in a thoughtful and responsible manner.
In 2016, Molly partnered with Ranchlands to take over the management of the MP, so this discussion centers around Molly and Duke’s shared love of this special ranch. We discuss Molly’s family history on the MP, the lasting role of her larger-than-life father’s vision for the ranch, Molly’s interesting career trajectory, and some of the specific stewardship challenges of ranching in arid New Mexico.
Molly Baldrige divides her time between Hygiene, Colorado, and the MP ranch in New Mexico. She grew up in Connecticut and started going to the ranch for summer vacations with her parents, Mac and Midge, and sister Megan, at age 8. After working as a ranch hand on the MP after college, Molly decided she wanted a job that was “half outdoors, half indoors,” a balance of the physical and the cerebral. To that end, she began a career in agricultural mortgage lending. After making field loans for insurance companies through Western Farm Management in CA and CO, she worked for the USDA’s Farmers Home Administration in Washington, DC, then got an MBA from Yale’s School of Management. She also worked at the Boston-based consulting firm, Agribusiness Associates, for Prudential’s agricultural real estate division, for US Agricredit in the secondary ag loan market, and then with a partner developing large scale financing for agribusiness projects and designing diversified agricultural investment funds for institutional and retail investors. During a child-rearing hiatus, Molly worked part-time as business manager for an herbal extract company and for Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont, CO. She has served on the boards of the Taft School in Watertown, CT, Alternatives for Youth in Longmont, CO, and Shining Mountain Waldorf School in Boulder, CO. For 10 years, she was Board Treasurer of the Hygiene Fire Protection District.
Molly has three grown children and one grandchild, and currently, she is slowly building a small educational and contemplative retreat business at the MP Ranch. She states that “since Ranchlands, whose values align closely with ours, took over the management of the MP in 2016, we have greatly improved the water infrastructure and the stewardship aspects of the ranch, and the fun meter is always off the charts.”
Molly on what the mp ranch means to her
Everyone has a querencia, a place where you love what you do, how you feel, where everything makes sense and you’re at your best. The MP Ranch is mine.
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