Rebecca Moeller came to New Mexico to be a cowgirl and has ranched for more than 40 years.
Juan Baeza

Rebecca Moeller is a San Acacia rancher who moved west as a teen to become a cowgirl.

What do you do?

I’ve been a self-employed rancher for over 40 years now. I’ve also been working part time with Mr. and Mrs. Bhasker in their hotel business for 24 years.

How did you get into the ranching business?

Well, I grew up in the countryside in Rhode Island. When I was a teenager, we moved to Miami, Fla., and I hated it.

So, when I was 18, I packed up my things and came out west to become a cowgirl. I was working with the horse racing association, and I would try and work with anything related to livestock.

When I met my husband, I got the chance to move back into the country and get a horse of my own. From there, we began to raise and train cutting horses.

We would get calves to train the horses, of course, and one day a friend we had recommended we get longhorn calves. We ended up liking them so much.

That Christmas, my husband bought our first registered longhorn. We fell in love with him, and we ended up changing our whole operation.

We got some cows and a bull. We ended up outgrowing Cedar Crest, which was where our ranch was located before we got this place here in San Acacia.

What made you fall in love with longhorn cattle?

They are just so versatile, and there is so much you can do with them. There’s even an after-death market, but the main thing we liked about them is that they kept us busy and have long lives.

I still have some cows that are well into their 20s. They are so smart and easy to take care of.

They brought a life-changing experience into my life.

When you came out to the West, was New Mexico your first stop?

I had heard of the Rio Grande, so I wanted to be near water. Of course, at the time I didn’t know it wasn’t exactly a big body of water, but I ended up getting a job the first week that I came out here.

After various jobs, I ended up working for an ad agency, and through that job is how I ended up meeting my husband.

What were your favorite things about New Mexico when you first got here?

First, the weather. There was no drama weather, especially coming from Miami, Fla.

I really liked the people as well. Getting introduced to the Hispanic and Native American cultures is something that I’ve really enjoyed and appreciated.

What do you like about Socorro and the small communities around it?

I like the hometown atmosphere. How friendly the people are. I like all the different types of people who live in Socorro and Socorro County.

The diversity makes it such an interesting place. Everyone seems to help each other out.

If you could change one thing about Socorro, what would it be?

Less gossip. Less jealousy.

There’s something special and unique about everyone. So, focus on what’s special and unique about yourself. Don’t worry about others and critique what’s unique about them.

Also owning up to what you say.

What are some of your hobbies?

Besides the animals, I really like photography and crafts. I had no idea I was competitive until I started showing horses and cattle. I love to read and cook.

Who’s your favorite author?

I am a crime novel junky. I love the Lee Child’s “Jack Reacher” series. I even named my cat Reacher.

I love the British authors. I also really like Robert Crais; I think he’s really under-rated.

Nothing heavyweight; I like to be entertained.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive) who would it be?

Benjamin Franklin. I just think he was such an interesting person.