A cattle-raising family in southern Doña Ana County is featured in the new “Meet the Producer” exhibit at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum.
John and Keri Guldemann raised Criollo cattle for many years at ranches in New Mexico and Texas. Today’s Criollo cattle are descendants of the first cattle to come to the Americas on Columbus’ second voyage around 1500 AD.
The Guldemanns are natives of El Paso. They met in 1976 while attending Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. After graduation from Sul Ross, John began working for the Diamond A Cattle Company of Roswell, New Mexico on the Big Bend Ranch in Presidio, Texas. The Guldemann’s son John Jess was born on the ranch in 1981.
When Richard O. Anderson sold the Big Bend Ranch to the state of Texas in 1988, John became the first superintendent of Big Bend Ranch State Natural Area (later State Park). Keri, who had managed the lodge facilities for R.O. Anderson, remained the manager for the State Park lodges. With the sale of the ranch, John and Keri purchased half the Diamond A’s Criollo cows and bulls and started their own ranching enterprise, Jinglebob LTD, a registered cow calf operation selling heifer bulls. In order for their son to attend public school, they left the Big Bend Ranch State Park in 1991 and moved to Marfa, Texas to ranch and eventually landed near Animas, N.M. in 1995.
This move to New Mexico opened up a new market for their Criollo cattle to the team roping industry which was a fast growing sport in America at the time. Leasing roping cattle provides an income from the livestock while they are young, and later the steer or heifer can be sold or retained for the beef cattle market.
After many years of ranching, the Guldemanns decided to return to John’s family home in Anthony, N.M., where they now finish and market Criollo cattle. They have created their own market in the area selling their product at farmer’s markets. You can find them at the Las Cruces Farmer’s Market or the Arovino’s Desert Crossings Famer’s Market in Sunland Park, New Mexico.
“Meet the Producer” is an exhibit that is changed every few months to feature various agricultural producers in different parts of the state. The exhibit is in the museum’s Horse & Cattle Barn.