By Tim Keller — For the Comet

RATON – Although Landon Berry grew up moving cattle from high atop horses’ backs, when he graduated from Raton High School in 2011, he accepted the standard sage advice: go to college and get something to fall back on in case the cowboy thing doesn’t work out.

He spent two school years at NMSU in Las Cruces working toward a degree in mechanical engineering, though he never grew a vision of what he might do with that degree. In May 2013, he came home from college and never went back. He turns 22 next month. He’s the sixth generation of his family to raise cattle for a living on the family ranch, and he has no intention of falling back.

The Berrys came from Ireland via Scotland around 1890 to work in the new coal mines around Raton. When his brother was killed in an explosion at the Dutchman mine in Blossburg, Patrick Berry left mining in favor of farming atop Johnson Mesa. By 1896 he’d bought some calves and registered a brand with the Territory of New Mexico.

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