The T.N. Ranching Company and Tavaputs Ranch is located in Carbon County, and is run by fifth generation ranchers Butch and Jeanie Jensen, and their kids Jeff & Jennie Christensen and their young boys. This cattle ranch encompasses two herds of more than 1,200 cattle on approximately 30,000 acres of private rangeland and 320,000 acres of state and federal ground.
Although the Jensens’ main focus is on the family cattle ranch, they have diversified their business through hunting, birding, and scenic tours of the ranch, including the Fremont Indian archaeological sites in Range Creek, which include pristine ruins and rock art.
The Jensens emphasize “the best practices of modern ranching with the best traditions of the West, with hospitality a given, education a goal, and increasing the strength and vitality of agriculture in Utah the result.” This description could not be more accurate.
The family manages natural resources on its land in a manner that allows them to improve and flourish over time. The Jensens use a ranching practice called “rotational grazing”, which helps greatly with the improvement of the rangeland they graze cattle on. They also employ sagebrush management techniques to improve forage for cattle and wildlife, including a significant sage-grouse population.
The location of the Jensens’ ranch makes it prone to drought every 10 years. Thus, they must conserve water as much as possible. They have developed springs and constructed a large number of ponds. At their feedlot, the Jensens have fenced livestock out of live water, built runoff ponds, and drilled a well for feedlot stock water, all of which helped to solve the issue of water pollution from the feeding operation.
The Jensen Family’s commitment to conservation and agriculture does not stop at their ranch’s borders. Butch has been chairman of the Taylor Grazing Board, which decides how range-improvement funds are spent in the local grazing district. The ranch has also been home to several University of Utah and Utah State University research projects.
Covering as much ground as they do – both literally and with all of their involvement in the cattle industry, it’s important to remember too that seemingly “small” decisions at the grocery store – like buying a roast or steaks – can have an important impact on a cattle ranching family like the Christensens and Jensens – but it does. It’s families like these that continue to ensure quality food on our tables!