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In the News

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Grit is one of the characteristics that exemplifies rancher and cattleman, Reyes Carballo, of Parowan, Utah. And, his grit didn’t come easy. As a young boy Reyes grew up chasing the pigs that enjoyed foraging around their farm, but he was often barefoot. He learned to rope early because his rope was his only play toy. During the school year he would ride to town with his mother and siblings in a wagon pulled by a mule. They lived in a small outbuilding Monday through Friday, sleeping on sheepskins as a mattress, but made the 30 mile trek back to the ranch for the weekends to help with cattle and farm chores. There was no store. There was no plumbing. There was no money. It was survival in heart of Chihuahua, Mexico...

He was a racehorse jockey fed up with the meager diet and hungry for something more.

On the way to Denver, looking for a new life, a snowstorm stranded him in Parowan, Utah.

That’s been decades ago and now he is a successful rancher in southern Utah’s Iron County despite the early skepticism of some neighbors, the strange looks, the whispers and the suspicion. He wasn’t their kind, after all.

Like any calf he has ever flipped to the ground to feel the hot sear of his brand, he hung on and made his mark.

The town, after a while, not only welcomed him — it embraced him.

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CEDAR CITY — Parowan’s Dry Lakes Ranch recently placed fourth overall in a prestigious beef-tasting competition held in Wyoming.


Kay Benson and daughter Kacie Carballo at the Rendezvous City Beef Roundup taste-testing competition in Riverton, Wyoming, Aug. 28, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Kacie Carballo, St. George News / Cedar City News

In double-blind taste tests conducted Saturday at the Rendezvous City Beef Roundup held at Central Wyoming College in Riverton, a panel of judges scored Dry Lakes’ meat among the top four in the open division of the “Best in the West” division, which included entries from top beef producers in 12 Western states.

Dry Lakes Ranch was Utah’s lone representation at the event, said owner Kacie Carballo, who attended the competition with her mother, Kay Benson, who works alongside her daughter at the business’s butcher shop.

“We competed in the open division, which meant we were up against anything that was brought, including but not limited to vast differences in genetics, feeding, finishing and processing methods,” Carballo said, adding that the stiff competition included beef from purebred Angus steers, Wagyu from the West Coast and several animals that had been raised on a grass-only diet.

PAROWAN — A quickly moving brush fire near the Interstate 15 exit in Parowan Thursday afternoon was extinguished within an hour, thanks to a swift initial reaction from local ranchers who were at the scene when it started, followed by a coordinated response by firefighters from multiple agencies.


Kendall Benson shows a Parowan Police officer where sparks originated from an overhead power line, starting a fire near Interstate 15 Exit 78, Parowan, Utah, July 2, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Kacie Carballo, St. George News / Cedar City News

The blaze, which reportedly started shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday, ended up burning approximately 12 acres of the mostly empty parcel, located just east of the I-15 Exit 78 off-ramp.

Kacie Carballo, who owns Dry Lakes Beef cattle ranch along with her husband Reyes Carballo, said her husband had driven onto the property along with ranch employee Lalo Acosta and Acosta’s young son, Cedar, to turn on the pump for the ranch’s water well.

Kacie Carballo told Cedar City News that when the men pushed the start button for the pump, sparks flew from the overhead power lines and ignited the cheat grass and sagebrush below.

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