Our Family

Meet the Cuny’s

Hi! We’re the Cuny (pronounced koo-nee) Family – Ethan, Heidi, Jax, and Jayna. We love our rural lifestyle and couldn’t imagine living somewhere you couldn’t see the stars. We also love our animals and know all 60-ish (depending on how many baby goats we have at any given time) of them by name. We manage our land in synchronicity with naturally occurring designs. As part of our commitment to a healthier lifestyle, the majority of the food we eat is grown, raised, or harvested by our own family or someone we know. We believe in self-sufficiency and continuously strive to become a zero-waste household. We own and operate the Badlands Heritage Guest Ranch where we get to share this lifestyle with others.

Regenerative Agriculture

We began our journey into regenerative agriculture in 2019 on a 32-acre parcel in Gordon, Nebraska. Our foundational belief is that God created the Earth in a way that everything can live in balanced harmony. It seems that people used to know a lot more about natural patterns, but over time that knowledge has been replaced with industrialization and technology. To us, regenerative agriculture is a rediscovery of nature’s designs and a revitalization of traditions that worked long before sprays, additives, and genetic modification. Instead of looking to a science lab, we look for natural solutions to help our agricultural operation grow.

In 2023, we relocated our regenerative agriculture operation to a 186-acre parcel in Interior, South Dakota. In addition to more land to expand our agricultural endeavors, the ranch includes several RV sites and camping areas. As the area where the Cuny Family originated in South Dakota, and the place where Ethan and Heidi began dating, moving here has been like coming home. We look forward to hosting guests from around the world and introducing them to God’s creations through our regenerative agriculture practices.

A Family Heritage in the Badlands

The Cuny Family was established in America through the marriage of Adolph Cuny, a French-speaking immigrant from Switzerland, to Josephine Bissonette, a half Lakota woman who’s father was a French fur trader. Adolph Cuny built a ranching and trading enterprise near Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and established some of the early transportation routes to the Southern Black Hills of South Dakota. In addition to being an accomplished businessman, he was also the first law enforcement officer to be killed in the line of duty in Wyoming. Unfortunately, this happened around the same time of the Battle of Little Bighorn when the United States government was forcing all Native Americans onto reservations. In a twisted fate, Josephine had to abandon her late husband’s estate and move her nine children to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The family settled on what is now known as Cuny Table, an area 15 miles long and three to four miles wide, rising about 300 feet from the floor of the Badlands. Josephine’s son, Jules Cuny, is Ethan’s great-great-grandfather.