Located on the outskirts of Cisco, Texas is the Sabanna Ranch,home ranch of the Wilks ranching operations. The Sabanna Ranch sprawls over a vast tract of multiple sections of land and was formed through the repurposing of peanut farms. Dating back to the early 1900’s, farmers in this area began the first commercial production of peanuts where production skyrocketed from a mere five carloads in 1906, to 150 carloads in 1908. One year later, 48,000 acres were planted and over 26 million pounds were harvested. Farmers quickly realized the peanuts were good for more than just nuts; the vines proved to be great cattle feed. This discovery led peanuts to overtake cotton as Texas’s leading cash crop for many years.
When the peanut industry moved its way west to New Mexico and other bordering stated, the ranches around the Cisco area slowly converted their way to cattle lands and lush winter wheat and coastal bermuda fields often utilizing the abundant irrigation systems originally established by the peanut farmers. As you drive through this part of Texas, you can see evidence of the old peanut farms.
Today, many commercial Black Angus cattle are raised right alongside the wildlife on the Sabanna Ranch. In the spring and summer cattle rotational graze on wild native bunch grasses and Bermuda coastal fields were also the baling and silage production takes place.The cultivated lush winter wheat fields provide much needed feed in the winter months along with the wild Rye that grows under the ever present “Mesquite” trees. Putting all these together provides a “sustainable” ranching operation for the cattle and wildlife together on The Sabanna.