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Producing Excellence

Gail and Millie Allen

Timpas, CO

Broken Spear Ranch

Products Raised or Grown: Cattle

Size of Operation: 450 head on 30,000 acres of deeded and leased land

In Business Since: 1975

Farm Credit Partner: Farm Credit of Southern Colorado

Working with Farm Credit Since: 1981

Watch a Video About the Allens

Long-time ranchers Gail and Millie Allen have a long-term vision for their commercial cow-calf operation in southeast Colorado: passing on their 35 year ranching legacy to their five daughters and their families, each of whom are already involved in the Allen’s operation.

Gail’s family roots go back to homestead days in eastern Colorado. Over the years, the farm and ranch properties of the Allen family continued to expand. As expansion and survival in agriculture continued, Farm Credit Services played a major role in the Allen family’s success.

Gail and Millie’s first purchase was 1,920 acres of farm and pasture land from Gail’s uncle in 1975. By 2000, the family was cultivating 10,000 acres of winter wheat rotation and running 1,000 to 1,250 yearlings. They made a major decision to change direction and traded the farm for a 30,000 acre ranch in southeastern Colorado. The ranch contains 10,000 acres of deeded grass land and a 20,000 acre grass lease that support 450 cows and some yearlings.

“During those growth years, it was essential to have the short-term and long-term financing that Farm Credit Services provided, and the flexibility they offered,” says Millie. As an example, the Allens cite their ability to secure pre-approval from their Farm Credit loan officer for their son-in-law to buy land for them at a land auction they were going to be unable to attend – up to a set price, of course. The opportunity did present itself, with the purchase approved by Gail over the phone and the financial transaction completed when the couple arrived back in town.

One of the main deciding factors in the Allen’s move was their desire to become more involved in ministry. They had been providing cowboy church services for rodeos throughout Colorado since the mid 1980s, but felt called to be more available for ministry. The change from farming to ranching allowed for this transition. Gail currently volunteers as pastor of Valley Cowboy Church, a church they founded in 2006 that meets on Tuesday evenings in La Junta, Colorado. They continue to help with Hi-Plains Rodeo Bible Camp, a camp they started at their Genoa farm in 1995. The purpose of the camp is to teach rodeo skills to kids up to age nineteen and to encourage the campers to base their lives and careers on Biblical foundations. They have seen success through this camp as many of the previous campers have returned as leaders for the camp. Through the years, the Allen family has been very involved in 4-H, Colorado Jr. High and High School Rodeo, Colorado Junior Rodeo Association, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and draft horse competitions. Extending their commitment to their community, they have also used their teams of draft horses for many parades and hayrides for community events throughout eastern Colorado.

Download a PDF version of this story here.