Our cattle ranch was founded by my great-great grandparents, Walker and Lavinia Rankin, in 1863. Walker was the first person to bring white faced Hereford cattle into the area and we have continued raising this breed of cattle through the generations. The ranch was passed down through the generations.
My grandmother, Helen Rankin, was a very strong woman and matriarch to our family. She was very couragous and dedicated. My grandfather, Leroy Rankin, third generation cattle rancher, passed away at a young age in 1954. Helen was left to raise three young children. The question of whether to keep or sell the ranch arose. She decided to keep the ranch and continue with her late husbands work.
Not only did she continue the family cattle ranch, but in 1965 she opened our guest ranch. At this time my father, Bill, was in college and returned home on weekends and school vacations to help with the cattle, farming, and guest operations. Helen was so immensely proud of her family and our dedication to the ranch. She instilled in her children and grandchildren a pride for our way of life. Today, my parents both still work on the ranch and myself and my three siblings have all come home to help continue the family tradition.
Thanks to my grandmother's commitment to the ranch, we have all had the opportunity to grow up in this wonderful way of life. I would not trade my childhood experiences for anything. We worked hard, but there was always sense of belonging and being a part something greater than yourself. The greatest things that I feel ranch life has taught me are family values, a strong work ethic, honesty, and respect. I look forward to raising my children, the sixth generation, on the ranch.