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The Bergen Ranch nurtures a habitat lush with native grass and wildlife in abundance. Ranch decisions are based on our core values which prioritize outcomes that benefit future generations. This value system serves our ranch family, community and the state. Conservancy and good stewardship produce a living prairie that does not depend on chemicals to achieve growth. Careful management fosters resurgence of native grass land and encourages soil regeneration. The practice of management intensive grazing encourages root structure and traps moisture. This process of carbon sequestration allows soil to regenerate, providing stable forage for cattle and a home for wildlife.
Ulmus americana - with growth habits of up to 80 feet tall the elm has dark green leaves with variable fall color. The elms architectural form creates a beautiful shade source as well as nesting sites for birds and small mammals.
Monardella arizonica - A member of the mint family bee balm will remain undisturbed among cattle who do not prefer the bitter taste. Humans use bee balm for medicinal purposes. The nutlets are highly attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinator bees. It also makes a lovely bouquet for your home.
Asclepias viridis - milkweed is common in pastures from Kansas to Texas. Generally avoided by cattle and horses. Monarch butterflies love milkweed and rely upon its' presence in prairies. Milkweed is of special value to bumble bees and honey bees.
Gallardia pulchella - are the red and yellow buds shown here in a mixed grouping of prairie flowers; most notable in the photo are the round seed heads present which demonstrate the value of leaving tall forage for reseeding.
Prairie coneflower, purple bee balm, and the small yellow bitter sneezeweed grow among a mix of winter forage demonstrating the richness of prairie life.
Callirhoe involucrata - called Poppy Mallow or Winecup, this flower is a member of the mallow family, eaten by all livestock including deer, proper grazing rotation will ensure this species survival. Poppy mallow are visited by many pollinators.
Ratibida columnifera - This lovely yellow flower is one of a variety of four colors of native coneflower found on the ranches. These flowers attract birds and butterflies.
Erigeron modestus - bees collect pollen or nectar, flies and beetles feed on pollen or nectar as well as other insects.
Glandularia bipinnatifida - attractive to birds, these purple flowers and are also highly deer resistant.
Danaus plexippus - Monarch butterflies embark on a marvelous migratory phenomenon. The Bergen Ranch is situated along the 2800 mile corridor from Canada to Mexico known as "The Butterfly Highway." Sightings are plentiful and butterflies are encouraged and invited by the habitat of the Bergen Ranch rangelands. To find out more click the link to visit our ranch friends at Okies for Monarchs.
Convolvulaceae (Morning-Glory Family) - Cattle love to eat this non aggressive annual climbing plant which grows best in dry conditions and part shade.
Wheat reseeds itself when managed properly allowing for succession. The grazing of pastures quickly allows for the seeds to drop off and germinate. Cattle will graze on wheat in combination with other forms of forage to balance their health and nutritional needs. Grazing management allows the stalks to dry out, after they have dried cattle will not eat the stalks allowing for reseeding.
This diverse mix of annual cool season grasses add to the seedbank through appropriate pasture rest by reseeding themselves.
Yarrow - Achillea millefolium- is particularly beneficial in reducing inflammation, speeding healing and for healthy skin. Purple vetch -Vicia americana Muhl. Ex Willd- fixes nitrogen and can be grown as a cover preceding late spring-planted crops