By Anna LoPinto

Two singular artists of Americana music, Nikki Lane and Sierra Ferrell, on friendship, songwriting, and their eclectic paths to fame.

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Meet This Year's Staff at Zapata Ranch

Get to know a few faces from the 2022 cohort as they get underway with yet another guest season at the ranch.


River in the Sky

There is a river in the sky that washes up the center of the continent each spring and its current rushes and rolls with waves of wings.

Michael Forsberg

Like A Song

A young girl’s foray into horseback riding, and how the feel for riding grew to live in her body, below consciousness, like a song.

Molly Wizenberg

Prairie Traveler

Part history, part modern travelogue along the Oregon Trail.

Anna LoPinto


Everyone has 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.

Molly Baldrige

Mr. Frying Pan

This bronc stomping’, smooth-talking, bow-legged cowboy has a long stride, a lean face, and a voice that would blow past you at 40 miles an hour.

Max Vanhorn

What Zapata Means to Me

How a relationship with Zapata Ranch launched my career as an acclaimed painter of horses.

Jill Soukup

My Land, Your Land, Our Land

Finding refuge, identity, and community on the rangelands we steward.

Duke Phillips III


Against the backdrop of valley, mountains, and dunes, making sense of a loved one's passing following a battle with dementia.

Amanda Knopf Rauhauser

Calving Season



Q&As with some of the best thinkers in conservation, ranching, and the arts.

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"Conventional industrial agriculture became very prescriptive. This is when you do this, and this is when you do that. This is the chemical you use to control that. It trained people out of that creative joy side, so kids don't want to come back. All the pieces that we're seeing right now are the end of the industrial era, as far as I'm concerned."


“I am often drawn to paint reminders of those fragile passages from one thing to the next when we are open to newness and also exposed to loss. I felt the fragileness of life in new ways during the start of the pandemic.”


"We are defined, by light, through where we are in the world physically and also by our time code. The light, what I call the chromatic balance, and the tonal balance of light in any place at any time, is always unique. It’s like a fingerprint."

The Art of the Cattle Move

Grazing ungulates play a central role in fostering a healthy prairie ecosystem. We plan the movement of our cattle to mimic the historic grazing patterns of bison.



A cattle breed based on natural selection and harmony with the environment.


The Beefmaster bull is a symbol of strength and resilience in a herd that is built for production, endurance, and efficiency.



The Beefmaster is a management philosophy embodied – a flesh-and-blood way of living with the land that represents how humans and their animals might do better to live in harmony with the indigenous patterns of the natural world than to try to fight them.



Of all the diverse classes of cattle we have on the Chico, our mother cows work the hardest.



I never got to learn from my maternal great grandmother how too cook or how to harvest food from the wild, I never got to learn from my paternal great grandmother how to work with clay or how to plaster with mud and tierra blanca, but I can feel it all in me, all the way to my bones. The same way a seed holds memory from those before it.

BY Johnny Ortiz


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