Touring Hillingdon

On April 26th, Bennett Land Trust Stewardship Conference attendees toured Hillingdon Ranch.

The Bennett Trust is an endowment provided by Eskel & Ruth Bennett to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The trust provides an endowment to continue their tradition of conservation education & preservation of the Edwards Plateau. The Bennett Land Stewardship Program uses conferences tailored specifically for land management in the Edwards Plateau, covering issues such as brush control, prescribed burning, estate planning, water management, & livestock stocking rates.

source: https://agrilife.org/bennetttrust/

The 6th annual conference was held in Kerrville. It offered landowners the opportunity to learn best management practices, regardless of enterprise, size of the property, or knowledge level. Part of the conference was tours, with Hillingdon Ranch being one of the stops.

While here, participants learned about the land & our livestock. They also heard about the techniques we use in managing our operation in a way that continues to benefit the natural ecology.

The group went on a tour through the pastures to see examples of management practices & realistic approaches that balance the needs of people, livestock production goals, wildlife habitat, rainwater sequestration, soil conservation, ecological preservation, as well as predator management.

*************************************************************************************More & more people are wanting to know where their food comes & the story behind it. In response, the American Lamb Board {ALB} is hand picking consumer influencers to attend its ‘Ranch Retreats’.

On April 29th, ALB & Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service sponsored a Ranch Retreat here at Hillingdon Ranch. Attendees of this American Lamb Ranch Retreat included chefs, butchers, nutritionists, retailers, bloggers, food writers, & the national TV host of Cheap Eats {Ali Kahn}.

The group heard about the history of the ranch, then took a tour around parts of the ranch. They were able to see ewes & lambs out in the pasture, as well as up close during a gathering demonstration with the border collies.

They were then served a lamb lunch. Lamb & mutton were prepared three different ways for the attendees to sample. Thanks to the individuals that prepared some amazing meat! BBQ-Billy & Brad Roeder & David Mullen; Lamb balls-Rodney & Russell Kott; Lamb kabobs-Tacy Redden & Ragan Browder. Nolan Newsom with Newsom Vineyards poured samples of wine to pair with the lamb.

After lunch, Dr. Reid Redden {Associate Professor & Extension Sheep & Goat Specialist-Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service} gave a shearing demonstration. Paul & Dawn Brown {Independence Wool} spoke about wool processing.

Dr. Dan Hale {Professor & Extension Meat Specialist-Texas A&M University} then gave a lamb carcass demonstration & discussed the various lamb cuts.

Attendees of the American Lamb Ranch Retreat were so energetic & excited about lamb. The feedback was incredibly positive, which is very encouraging for us as producers! Several of the attendees went ‘live’ on social media while they were here at the ranch. We have received lots of kind emails, messages, & posts on social media about their experience while here at Hillingdon. We are grateful for the opportunity to host this kind of event.

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