Russell Freeman is keeping his family’s legacy alive through his western values. The National Western Stock Show is one of those traditions that lets him show others why farming and ranching are still so important.
I spent some time on the Freeman Ranch, learning more about his way of life.
A true cowboy is how Russell Freeman describes himself. It has been in the Freeman bloodline for generations.
“My great-grandmother started the brand that I register my cows with, the year that Colorado started registering brands in 1899,” said Freeman.
It’s a legacy that continues to grow.
“We raise longhorn cows and we also raise beef cows, so we produce a lot of beef that you eat,” said Freeman.
While Russell cares deeply about ranching, he knows the lifestyle is sometimes misunderstood.
“People talk about environmentalists, but ranchers are true environmentalists because we depend on the environment for our very livelihood. So, it’s very critical that we don’t abuse it because we need it next year,” said Freeman.
The Western Stock Show is a place where people from all different backgrounds can come together to admire and learn about the agricultural lifestyle.
“If you talk to anybody in the cattle business, Denver has more cattle people than any other show. If you go to Fort Worth, Houston, or any other cattle show, the show people show up there, but not the real cattle people. Denver has the reputation for being real-life cowboys and real-life cattle people,” said Freeman.
It’s also a place for ranchers to gather and share their stories.
“That’s a lot of roots that many people can’t even begin to understand, that you’re doing something that you know you did when you were a kid, what your dad did when he was a kid, and your grandpa did when he was a kid. That’s a way of life. Here in America, we are providing feed for the world. So, I think it’s very critical for the sake of humanity,” said Freeman.
And the Freeman’s legacy of love for the land and animals will go on.
“My boys are animal lovers and so they really like spending time with animals. And it’s amazing, just like your dog or your cat. People think of cows as just cows, but they all have individual personalities just like every animal,” said Freeman.
Russell tells me a big selling point for this way of life is how honest and true the animals are that he spends time with. He says he hopes you can visit the stock show this weekend and see for yourself.
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