The Fieldgrove Ranch consists
entirely of rangeland. The cattle
are grazed year-around and calve
in April. If winter hay is needed,
they buy it and truck it in.
The Fieldgrove Ranch crew: (L to R) Teresa Fieldgrove, Kelby, Daniel Escoz (Ryan’s brotherin
law who tends the ranch full-time), Tayden, Ryan Fieldgrove, Elisa and Tommy.
those 20 cows,” Ryan says of genetic
improvement in the main herd.
“Every year our bulls are half-brothers,
and that should, if we’re careful with
the line-up, produce a consistently
uniform cow herd. I am very pleased
with last year’s set of bulls.”
GOATS TO THE RESCUE
When Ryan returned to the family
ranch after college graduation, he
learned more about the business side
of the ranch. “I had an ‘aha’ moment,”
Ryan recalls, “when I learned how
much money my dad spent on weed
control. It came in right around $1
million over a 10-to-15 year period.
“It wasn’t all his own cash, because
the weed and pest district cost-shared.
But we used to spray with helicopters
and that was really expensive. There
was no way I could afford it.”
Ryan researched alternatives to
control leafy spurge, an invasive weed
that covered a quarter of his ranch.
At the time, Boer goats were newly
popular for biological weed control
in Texas. Ryan decided to try goats,
because of the goat market provides
Fieldgroves to close their purebred
Red Angus herd a few years ago. The
replacement bulls with genetics that
Ryan likes are priced higher than his
budget allows. Instead, the Fieldgroves
select their top 20 producing commercial
cows and breed them via artifi cial
insemination from outside bulls with
the Fieldgroves’ preferred genetics.
“We raise our own bulls from
48 I WORKING RANCH I JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2019