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The Heritage of Tallgrass

old fashioned cattleman with hat

After all, we're not just about superior beef, we've also got the Heritage to back it up. And I think it’s time I share a little about what that’s like. Returning home to live in Oklahoma again after 13 years away has helped me to understand more about myself and where I came from than ever before.

Like this pic: I was hanging around at the ranch house the other day and I found it and felt an immediate connection to him. I asked my dad who it was and he told me it was Lee Russell (my great-great grandfather). Now, I've heard a lot of stories about Lee Russell, but this is one of the only pics that remains of him and it was the first time I saw who he was and finally, all the stories came together and made sense.

A true visionary and a man on a mission, in 1901, he laid the first ever fence in Osage County and shortly thereafter he ran a herd of 100,000 head of cattle in the area. You read that right: One Hundred Thousand. I can't even imagine what that looks like and this was all done on long drives on horseback and trains. Why? Because it was and still is the best grassland in North America.

Being born into a ranching family is not for the faint of heart. Yes, there's the foundation and hopefully the fruition of blood, sweat, and tears your ancestors left for you, but there's also an insane, sometimes suffocating, pressure to *DO SOMETHING BIG* with it, not to mention the constant shadows of vultures circling who'd love nothing more than to grab their little piece, but that's a talk for another day.

Lee Russell, if you're listening, thank you for playing as big as you did. You're a legend and an inspiration and won't soon be forgotten in my book

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