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A Month in a Cowboy Hat: How the VanWinkle Ranch Makes Their Community Better With Beef

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a rancher? Well now you have the chance to catch a glimpse of life as a cattle rancher through the VanWinkle Ranch's a "Month in a Cowboy Hat". Through their Facebook page, the VanWinkle Ranch document what their day to day life is like as cattle producers. You can access their story here.

Howard and Janie VanWinkle are long-time residents of Mesa County. They worked for over 35 years towards their goal of working full-time together on the ranch. The VanWinkles achieved their dream of becoming full-time ranchers and use their passion for agriculture and land management to advocate for beef consumption and production.


Recently, the VanWinkles have shown their dedication to making their community Better With Beef by working collaboratively with local recreationists to finalize a plan for the Palisade Plunge trail. The proposed trail would have initially run right through the middle of the lease VanWinkle Ranch has with the City of Grand Junction, bringing in excess trash, trespassing, and habitat disturbance to the ranch. After a lengthy process of compromise with proponents of the trail, both sides were able to agree on a solution that minimized disturbance while still allowing recreationists to enjoy a western slope landmark.


The ranch has a very active Facebook page where they share the challenges and triumphs of ranching on the Western Slope in an effort to reach those who are not familiar with the realities of ranching. The VanWinkles are dedicated to promoting a better understanding of ranching and what all it contributes to the proper management of our landscapes and the greater community. Their shared stories about their operation help showcase why Colorado is Better With Beef.

The VanWinkle Ranch is open to hearing from consumers interested in learning more about how beef is produced and to answer questions.


Click the arrow to scroll through the pictures below to learn more about their lives as beef producers.

Check out more of a Month in a Cowboy Hat:


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