Silvopastoral systems have great potential for storing carbon because of carbon assimilation in tree woody biomass, carbon input through litterfall and below-ground carbon turnover. In this study, we quantified and compared the carbon stocks at livestock ranches in Tabasco, Mexico, containing either scattered trees in grazing pastures (STP) or grass monocultures. Sampling plots were randomly established at each ranch where the above- and below-ground carbon stocks, carbon input from litterfall, grass production and arboreal biomass growth were measured. We found that silvopastoral systems stored an average of 257.45 Mg ha−1 of soil organic carbon (SOC) compared to 119.17 Mg SOC ha−1 at grass monoculture ranches (to 30 cm depth); silvopastoral systems also stored 44.64 Mg C ha−1 in wood biomass; and, grass monocultures had greater cumulative grass biomass production. Overall, it is concluded that livestock ranches in Tabasco, Mexico, with scattered trees in grazing pastures stored 58.8% more carbon than those grass monocultures, with carbon stocks of 327.01 Mg C ha−1and 134.47 Mg C ha−1, respectively. The results are useful for land management decision making for sustainable livestock systems framed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).