Ranching in the High Desert – Five Generations, One Family

Ranching in the High Desert

Five Generations, One Family

Photography by Jeff Scheid
Opening Program and Reception Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 2 to 4 pm

No industry is more linked to Nevada’s past than ranching. Ranching was an economic mainstay in the region before statehood, and before flashier industries such as mining and gaming began to define Nevada’s business climate. It was also ranching that gave Nevada its reputation as a land of resilient people who embraced the ups and downs that came with rugged individualism.

Few families embody that ability to adapt more than Nye County’s Fallini clan. The Fallinis have ranched central Nevada’s arid desert for 150 years—for as long as there’s been a Nevada. Ensuring survival of the family’s Twin Springs Ranch has required careful stewardship of the countryside, healthy respect for a fickle Mother Nature and, increasingly, political and policy skill to maneuver ever-changing federal regulations on land use in rural Nevada.

Today, as one of Nevada’s largest and oldest spreads, Twin Springs has become a vital piece of the state’s $441 million-a-year ranching industry—a sector that helps keep rural communities alive.
For more than three decades, Jeff Scheid has been photographing Las Vegas. He chased down the infamous Hole in the Wall Gang and Chicago mobster Tony “The Ant” Spilotro walking defiantly with his defense attorney Oscar Goodman. He photographed the UNLV Running Rebels basketball team on the road to the National Championship. He captured some of the most famous celebrities on the Las Vegas Strip. In a way no one else could, Scheid has been there to tell the story of Las Vegas.


Scheid was born and raised in eastern Montana where the badlands meet the prairie. Inspired by his mother’s work as a journalist, Scheid took his first newspaper job in Glendive, Montana. One of his earliest photo essays depicted a young rural boy who baked cookies, then rode his bike a mile to sell them to oil workers drilling a well. The story was picked up by ABC’s Good Morning America—a very proud moment for that family.

“I’m a visual anthropologist photographing Nevada and Las Vegas, in one of the most dynamic places in the world,” Scheid says. “The mystique of Nevada is based on our photo history, images that pique curiosity and, frankly, could only happen here.”

Special thanks to journalist Jennifer Robison for contributions to the text.