The Allen Family
Allen Ranch History
In 1886 John Allen, a hardy Scottish immigrant, started acquiring ranch land from the proceeds of his mercantile store which served miners in the Gunnison Valley of southwest Colorado. Having only one leg, he oversaw the operation in the capacity of a gentlemen rancher. When the choice between retail and ranching was presented to his son Ralph, however, the enduring tradition of the Allen Ranches began. Over the past 130 years of operation, each generation has battled to endure the harsh winter that holds Gunnison in its lingering grasp so as to enjoy the verdant mountain summers of the high Rockies. All three of the succeeding generations have expanded the ranch’s land holdings and improved upon the genetics of our cow herd. While mining has gone the way of our draft horse-drawn hay equipment, and outdoor recreation amidst our beautiful scenery has attracted tourists by the thousands, one constant has been the annual migration of the Allens’ Hereford cows up and down the valley.
The heritage bestowed upon the fifth generation is, in our opinion, priceless. A herd of cattle adapted to high-altitude living, calm livestock handling practices, collaboration with multiple users on both private and public lands, and leadership in protection of the Gunnison Sage Grouse are all evidence of a stewardship ethic that allows for the productive use of natural resources while maintaining intact ecosystems.
The Allen Ranches have found good company in Country Natural Beef. Graciously counseled by the wisdom and knowledge in this group of progressive ranchers, our legacy will continue into the foreseeable future.