How Vara Started
What began as just an investment for family and friends to have a “getaway destination” and enjoy the outdoors, has quickly led to an impressive undertaking of building a world-class Whitetail and Super Exotic genetic farm and hunting ranch. Five years ago, Matt and Valorie Loessin purchased the land where Vara Ranch is now located, outside of Columbus, Texas. While they were immediately impressed by the beautiful piece of property, the fast-paced growth and expansion of the Whitetail and Super Exotic herds quickly moved the operation far beyond its initial ambitions. Like many things in life, the need for help led to a big break for Vara. When Matt needed assistance in doctoring an addax with a broken leg, he was put in touch with Trey Staff, Vara’s current “do it all” Ranch Manager. What started as a good connection and basic friendship, has grown into a symbiotic match that has allowed the program to quickly and efficiently move forward. Throughout conversation, it is clear Matt and Valorie both are highly appreciative of the work Trey has done for their outfit. Valorie’s comment sticks out the most; “He’ll take on any challenge, you know? He can do just about anything. He’s good at everything that he does, and he does it with a great attitude.” What more could you ask for in a ranch manager when building this sort of program?
Where Vara is Now
With a strong emphasis on superior whitetail, Vara is expecting 300+ fawns this year — an impressive number given their somewhat short involvement in the industry. These fawns represent much of the industry’s top genetics, because like anything else they do, Matt and Valorie are focused on producing quality, not just quantity. Their passion for proven, high-end animals has been evident in their purchasing and breeding decisions through the years and continues to be a major focus going forward. Like many within the industry, Vara has a specific type of deer they are striving to produce. Their goal from the beginning has been to breed big, typical deer that meet not only their idea of what a great buck looks like, but also suit a wider more general audience as well. There is also large emphasis placed on consistency within the genetics. Matt, Valorie, and Trey understand the importance of producing both high quality and highly replicable deer. Without the ability to consistently produce, business becomes tougher than it needs to be. Last, but certainly not least regarding the Whitetail genetics, Matt stated “The longevity of the deer is a big focus of ours too, making sure they are going to live. They’re built for Texas, with Texas Genetics.”
Along the way, Matt and Trey have worked extensively with Chris Methner from Blessed Bayou Wildlife. They credit him with being a big player in the constant progress of their Whitetail program. He was the driving force in designing their world-class breeding facility, as well as outlining pedigrees and making breeding recommendations to generate the kind of large, typical frames Vara is becoming known for.
By this time, you are probably thinking the biggest question that still has not been answered is “where does Vara come from?” It holds special meaning for the Loessins and for the history of Texas.
Matt and Valorie’s main business is a large national surveying and engineering firm. The word “vara” is an old Spanish measurement of 33 and one-third inches that was used when Texas was initially laid out by the Spaniards. Vara Ranch; where old tradition meets new tradition!
What stuck out the most in going through Matt’s thoughts were two things. The first in talking about his wife and support system he says “By having her right beside me, her support has been huge.” Vara Ranch is something their whole family is emotionally invested in and committed to! The second was his comment when the question “How did you get here today?” was posed. Matt says “Hard work. It took a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of hard work by a lot of great people that we’ve hired here.” A seemingly perfect answer from a great leader and businessman, which is reflective of how they run their family, ranch, and companies, but also of how Vara continues to push itself and its competitors forward in the Whitetail and Exotic Industries.
We at the DBC are thankful to have them onboard and look forward to watching how they push their program to new levels in years ahead. Thank you to Matt, Valorie, their family, and Trey for striving for excellence in their program and for deeply supporting the industry as a whole!