Wyoming Ranchers are Popular Worldwide
Have you herd? Recent figures show that there are 2.18 bovines per person in Wyoming. No wonder we like it here so much! In fact, Wyoming is fifth in the nation on the cattle to person ratio, falling behind the Dakotas, Nebraska and Montana. With numbers like that, it makes sense that most of the beef grown in Wyoming is actually consumed in other, more populated states. Since 2013, the Wyoming Beef Council has been showcasing Wyoming ranching families on their website to introduce urban consumers with the folks who produce America’s favorite protein. “Beef Checkoff research shows that our target audience of millennial parents is highly interested in learning more about ranches where their beef come from,” said Ann Wittmann, Wyoming Beef Council executive director. “ Wyoming ranch features demonstrate how much ranchers care for their livestock and the environment while highlighting our state’s unique Cowboy culture. Favorite family recipes are also spotlighted. Campaign results have been astounding; the site regularly attracts visitors from more than 70 countries worldwide. To view these features, visit http://www.wybeef.com.
The Flying E ranch near Lovell, Wyoming is the current feature and the eighth ranch highlighted on the site.
The Ellis family arrived in Wyoming in the 1920s when Spencer’s grandfather, George Ellis came to the area while serving in the Civil Corp of Engineers digging canals and building dams that still provide water to the area. Today, the Flying E Ranch supports three Ellis generations, Spencer, his wife Annette and the couple’s son Casey are on the ranch daily along with Spencer’s father Larry.
In addition to raising Black Angus cattle, the Ellis clan grows corn, other grains and alfalfa. They also operate a small feedlot and have a custom farming business offering farming, planting and harvesting services to others in the area. In the summer, Flying E cattle graze the rugged terrain of the big horn mountain range where roads are scarce and wildlife is abundant. Cattle are trailed up the mountain and monitored on horseback, a labor intensive effort covering a vast number of miles.
As a third generation rancher, Spencer Ellis hopes that his children will continue the family tradition of raising safe, wholesome beef. To ensure this, he is committed to environmentally sustainable farming and ranching practices that are as unique as the area where he raises his cattle.
“My ranch supports a lot more than just cattle. The same land that provides food and open space for our livestock is also home to deer, elk, antelope, pheasants, moose, trout and many other species,” Ellis said. “Cattle ranching families like mine walk the same land, breathe the same air and drink the same water as the families who consume the beef we raise. We take our commitment to protect and improve natural resources seriously.”
Spencer and Annette like their steaks lightly seasoned and both are fans of horseradish, blue cheese and crispy onions as compliments to the rich flavor of beef. Favorite beef cut: Ribeye steak. Favorite seasoning: salt and pepper. Favorite steak topping: blue cheese. Favorite beef side: Horseradish mashed potatoes.
–Wyoming Beef Council