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Success Stories

Smart Ranching

Ernie Watson
Rancher herding cattle

The sun is just rising over the High Plains east of Roswell, New Mexico. --But the day for Trish and Kim Chessar at the Burnt Well Guest Ranch started more than an hour ago.

Today, will be special, --their guests will become cowboys.  

Since the Chessar’s opened the guest ranch in 2003 they have had visitors from 28 countries and every state in the union except one. 

Soon the breakfast Trish is making will be served. When the day is done, she will have spent 11 hours in the kitchen cooking for their guests and Kim will have spent the day teaching them how to be a cowboy. 

The guests will brand and drive cows, mend fences, and work on anything else that needs to be done.  After the evening meal the cowboys will kick back and relax after a hard day.

Ranching is tough and not an easy way to make a living. It’s no different for Trish and Kim and they created the guest ranch to add some income. 

Kim says, “Our guests think ranchers are rich. They have no idea how tough it is.  But we’re blessed with our lifestyle.  I guess you could say we’re rich in that respect.”

They have made their business more profitable through use of the USDA Rural Development Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP provides ag-producers and small rural businesses funds to install renewable energy systems such as solar and geothermal equipment. The funds can also be used to buy heating and cooling equipment and other energy efficient systems. The program can also provide grants up to 25% of the total eligible project cost.

The Chessar’s qualified for the financing and soon installed a solar system to power their ranch. They immediately saw a drop in their electric bill, making the installation of the solar power system a wise investment.   

Click here for more information on the REAP program

Obligation Amount:
Date of Obligation:
May 17, 2021
Congressional District:
Congressional District 2