NRCS also helped Mancha battle fever tick when he found himself in the middle of the quarantine zone.

Even though the tick was eradicated in 1943, they have made a comeback. Two species are capable of carrying the protozoa that can transmit the disease Babesia,or tick fever, which kills cattle.

Mancha, with aid from NRCS, built the cross-fences needed for a rotational grazing system that allows tick riders to work a smaller area. Once a month the cattle are penned and treated.

Even though cattle are the only livestock on his operation, Mancha also manages acreage to improve turkey, deer and dove populations.

“Drought has had a major impact on our vegetation,” Mancha says, “but I was not forced to sell (livestock). I kept replacement heifers because of the good grass. It produces a lot of feed and has kept me in business in the worst drought in 50 years.

“Being a farmer and rancher has meant so many things to me,” he continues. “When I was young I just wanted to see my crops grow; now I know that I am part of the contribution that feeds America. I could easily retire, but I am not ready to give this up.”