A three-week road trip from California to Maine and back took the Mullenax duo on a honeymoon visiting ranches, zoos, prairies and national parks to learn more about the diverse practices in keeping and caring for species of interest.
Alex, attending the International Flamingo Symposium as one of three from the private aviculture community in attendance.
Snowflake, the Office Goat and the one who started it all. Wedding ring-bearer, general assistant, Queen of the goat herd and ambassador of the ranch, Snowflake is a very busy goat. Follow her on Facebook
We're all a little crazy here.
Neither Ernie or his wife Alex quite set out with the ranch in mind when they moved to Kern County and settled in Tehachapi, CA.
It was the sheer expense of trying to maintain a property of this size, not even counting the restoration and fixing up, that influenced the decision in making the ranch self-sustainable. It was a huge financial drain to live here and have it just be a house and a 'large front yard' with a few pets.
However, the alternative for two young people to break into the Agriculture industry from a non-Ag family is an even larger endeavor. One that has proved challenging but not impossible.
An Alaskan native, Ernie spent his summers with family in AK growing up, learning maintenance, plumbing and all sorts of skills which have since contributed to the success of the ranch. Learning woodworking and welding has served as a valuable resource along with his tractor and vehicle knowledge. His passion for the outdoors and keeping natural spaces open and untouched has influenced the holistic grazing approach for the ranch.
Alex's 25+ year background in Exotic Birds, in addition as past Vice President of the Avicultural Society of America and a State Coordinator with the American Federation of Aviculture (a lifetime member of both) fuels her current passion of heritage poultry. Also lending her experience and professional training in animal husbandry, management and biosecurity practices taught by leading aviculturists, researchers and zoo staff from around the world. A past 4-H State Ambassador and past President of the National Junior Horticulture Association, the ranch is now Alex's full time job and passion.
Birds did not do well with the cold, and Alex found Nigerian Dwarf Goats, a miniature breed of dairy goat, thrived in the diverse environment. Known for their gentle nature and playful personalities, the goats have become the heart of the ranch. Other animals include llamas, and horses from the local wild herd.
Registered American Highland Cattle are beginning to arrive and build a home on the ranch. Their thick, wooly coats and nimble feet make the world's oldest cattle breed a great selection for the windy hills of the ranch.
Rolling out summer 2018, California Goat Yoga is Mullenax Ranch's mobile goat yoga program traveling throughout the state. For more on the goat yoga and available classes please visit our program site: www.CaliforniaGoatYoga.com
Mullenax Ranch has changed and grown in many ways since its conception in 2016, finding itself both farm and ranch with a true focus on the farm and bringing high quality food, produce and goat milk soap to the community.
It's a passion and privilege to farm for our community. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!