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San Rafael Valley Grass-Fed Beef
P. O. Box 547
Patagonia, AZ 85624

Telephone: 520 394-0031

Year Started: 1995

# American Employees: 1
  The ranch was first established in the late 1930s when my grandparents put six small ranches together and named it the Lazy J2 Ranch. It was sold in 1953 and re-named the KiHeKah. In 1989 the property was subdivided and in 1991 more than 2/3s of the original ranch was reassembled and the original name returned. The Lazy J2 lies in the very center of the rolling grasslands of the San Rafael Valley. These high Sonoran Grasslands are one of the last intact short grass prairie ecosystems in the west. 500 years of cattle ranching have kept a balanced and healthy environment for 17 threatened and endangered species. Hundreds of tributaries run through the valley and become the headwaters of the Santa Cruz River. The river flows south into Mexico, it makes a "U" turn and travels north through Nogales Sonora and Nogales, USA, then on to Tubac, Tumacacori, Green Valley, the Tohono O'dam Nation and finally to Tucson. The San Rafael Valley is known for its breathtaking panoramas, sweeping vistas, undisturbed night skies, towering cottonwoods, and rambling riverbeds. First settled in 1539 by the Franciscan Fathers, the San Rafael Valley contains the Communal Spanish Land Grant, San Rafael de Zanja, which was given to the town of Santa Cruz, Sonora. Over the years the valley has been fiercely protected, known by only a few and stoutly treasured by all those that have seen it or have the priveledge to live there. It is so unique that 80% of the private property in the valley has been placed in conservation easements. The Lazy J2 Ranch is comprised of 9 deeded pastures, and 5 large US Forest Service allotment pastures lie within the Coronado National Forest, and is known as the A-Bar Draw Allotment. Deeded pastures change from softly rolling grassland into oak dotted meadows then up into manzanita, juniper and pinon pine terrain in the allotment. Native Arizona grasses include all of the Grahama Grasses, Side Oaks, Texas Cotton Top, Blue Stem, and hundreds of native forbes makes the grass in the San Rafael Valley unique, one of the few grasslands that can naturally fatten cattle without extensive supplements. Judicious stewardship and wise adherence and work with NRCS continue to protect and improve range conditions. The San Rafael Valley is one of the Audubon Society's listed destinations. Known throughout the world as an extraordinary birding spot, the San Rafael Valley is home to the elusive Baird Sparrow, Peregrine Falcons, Mexican Eagles, Blue Heron, Hummingbirds and Trogons. At just under 5000 feet elevation the valley has mild summers cooled by incredible monsoons that drop 17 to 25 inches in 3 months. Spectacular thunderclouds come out of the Gulf of Mexico and put on breathtaking displays of lightening and rolling thunder. During winter months, temperatures can fall to 10 degrees but it will only last two weeks at most. Snow will fall, but only last a day or two. May and June are hot and dry but July brings almost daily rains and cool breezes……you often need a sweater during monsoon. Even at its hottest the valley will be 15 degrees cooler than Tucson. Patagonia, Arizona is the closest town, approximately 10 miles. Half of that distance is on dirt roads that are well maintained by the County of Santa Cruz. The area has a rich history of Apache raids, and their nemesis, the renown Buffalo Soldiers of Fort Huachuca. Coronado's quest for the Seven Cities of Gold may have brought him into the valley, but definitely took him up the San Pedro River Valley and down the Babacomari where they have found conquistador helmets. Woolly mammoths and dinosaur bones have been found on the Empire Ranch and Mexican wolves and Jagarunda have been spotted on occasion. Cinnamon bear and mountain lions sometimes are drawn out of the Huachuca Mountains but typically stay to the hilly country within the Coronado National Forest. The San Rafael Valley is a jewel and I believe that the cattle raised in the valley are the best in the state of Arizona. Families and Customers are always welcome to visit. Just call and set up an appointment. Sincerely, Ms. Sidney D. Spencer  
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