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2013-11-14

Six generations on historic Texas ranch

Special to the Courier

"Hillingdon Ranch: Four Seasons, Six Generations" chronicles how one family has worked together over many years to keep their ranch intact.
It is also a beautifully photographed portrait of a ranching family and their life in the Texas Hill Country, where work is guided by the seasons, increasingly influenced by technology and inevitably affected by drought. In learning about the family's successes and challenges, readers will gain a greater appreciation of what the Giles family's efforts mean to the rest of us - food, fiber, clean air, wildlife, healthy land, peace and quiet and, perhaps most important of all, clean and plentiful water.
"The health of our natural resources depends on stewardship. And stewardship needs stewards. As our population shifts toward almost complete urbanization, keeping open spaces open and productive will become increasingly difficult. As citizens, we must recognize the contributions of places like Hillingdon Ranch and people like the Giles family to the well-being of everyone," said David K. Langford, co-author of "Hillingdon Ranch," former Texas Wildlife Association executive vice president and award-winning photographer. "In modern Texas, ranching is a balancing act that requires landowners to be resourceful entrepreneurs and committed stewards."
Langford is the owner of Western Photography Company. His award-winning photographs have appeared in "Smithsonian," "Outdoor Life," "Field and Stream," "Texas Highways," "The Cattleman," "American West," "Texas Monthly" magazines and other publications, worldwide. He lives on the Laurels Ranch, his piece of the Hillingdon family land.
Cantu is president of Woodward Communications, a research, writing and public relations company specializing in agriculture and natural resource issues. Before starting her own business, Cantu served the assistant commissioner for communications at the Texas Department of Agriculture.
Hillingdon Ranch is part of the Conservation Leadership Series, a book series sponsored by The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University.