WFCF Storybit: Welch Cattle Co.

The agricultural sector is growing faster by the day and here at Where Food Comes From we stay pretty busy helping to ensure you receive the best quality food you can through our efforts to promote transparency and sustainability.  So, with this increasing demand comes the need for more farmers and ranchers like our friends at Welch Cattle Company.  Being a rancher doesn’t just mean watching over the farm, it means operating in various structures and environments and understanding all the different processes of raising healthy livestock.  Even as the sun goes down, the Welch’s job is far from over.  Let’s check out more of the story behind this busy family!

The Story

John Welch was born in Midland, Texas. He graduated from Midland High School in 1968 and from Texas A&M University in 1972 with his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics. Upon graduation, he worked for CattleFax, the National Cattleman’s Beef Association (NCBA), managed a feedyard and was a commodities broker for an investor cattle feeding company.  If he wasn’t busy enough, John also ranched on the side, which was the beginning of a new direction for him.

In 1984, he became a full-time self-employed rancher with operations in Colorado and Nebraska. By 1992, John purchased property southeast of Pueblo, Colorado with his wife, Bonnie.  It was referred to as the Apishapa Canyon Ranch, which remains the ranch headquarters today. Welch Cattle Company was officially formed in November of 2007.  Besides owning the ranch, they also lease the ground.  Colorado isn’t the only place Welch Cattle Company has cattle as they also operate in Texas and Montana, a national operation in every sense of the phrase.

Today, John remains active in the operation, but his son Andy has taken over the reins as ranch manager. His other two sons, Bob and Wesley, are also members of WCC.  This is truly a family operation.  Welch Cattle Company raises commercial cow/calf pairs with SimAngus, Balancer, and Wagyu genetics. Although running a ranch can be stressful at times, the Welch family finds it very rewarding.  A business started from scratch has turned into a self-sustaining cattle operation.

Verification

Welch Cattle Company participates in Age and Source Verification, Non-Hormone Treated Cattle, Verified Natural Beef and BeefCARE. As you’ve probably heard more than once by now, BeefCARE is our sustainability program that helps farmers, ranchers and food producers with sustainability and continuous improvement. Sustainable practices and verification provide you with the peace of mind of knowing where your food comes from.  Welch Cattle Company is proud to partner with Where Food Comes From to help bring transparency to your table.  Making the decision to participate in third-party verification programs was an easy decision because they already had most of the practices in place.

Why Verify

They care deeply for their land, animals, community, and employees. They ranch in a very unforgiving climate where drought is common, they meet the fragile ecosystem on its terms. Sometimes this means making certain sacrifices when it comes to profitability.  The health of their cattle and land come first.  They strive to put their very best effort into everything they do. At the end of the day, John and team want you to trust and feel confident sharing their products with your family and friends.

Third-party verification programs are important for several reasons. One, it holds the ranch accountable for their actions and claims. The verifiers (Hey! That’s us!) are adept at their job and recognize when programs are in place. More importantly, it gives you confidence that our products are what Welch Cattle Company say they are. With the support of Where Food Comes From, Welch Cattle’s claims are validated for the cattle feeders, packers, retailers, and customers.  This means everyone can be confident that WCC is providing safe, healthy, well-cared-for, and nutritious beef.

 

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