James Ranch

There were over 150 story suggestions for our visit to Colorado. Unfortunately, we don’t get to make a film about every worthy farm.   Last night we stopped at James Ranch — a place that would make an ideal Perennial Plate film.  It is a grass-fed beef and dairy operation where each member of the James family runs a different aspect of the business.  They have deep knowledge of rotational grazing in one of the most beautiful valleys that cows have ever roamed.  But we already filmed a story about ranching in Colorado (and have done ranching films in Montana and Argentina in the past) so we weren’t going to make a full film there.   Still, we wanted to stop by.  They have a little burger shack overlooking the Animas Valley where they farm.  They serve beef from their cows, blanketed with their own cheese, topped with lettuce from their neighbors.  It is idyllic and delicious.  After our burgers, the cheesemaker Dan (who has a cow named Mirra) introduced us to his heard of Jerseys, as well as an hour-old calf.  He held our son as Mirra (the person, not the cow) ducked under the electric fence (the same one that Hunter tried to limbo beneath). And he continued to hold James as he walked him through the pasture, introducing him to all the cows.  Although we had several cameras with us, it was nice to not focus too much through the lens, and instead just enjoy the farm and the moment.  Im so happy we visited. We won’t be making a full film about James Ranch (though you can expect to see it in the Colorado Montage), but if you are ever in Durango, its the perfect spot for the most ethical, local, idyllic and delicious burger money can buy.