The Flying B Bar Ranch was founded in 2006 by Brad and Margaret Buchanan based on the principle that we need to leave the planet a better place than we found it. From our small beginnings and steep learning curves the ranch has evolved and grown over the years. Brad came to this mission driven “pilot project” from a career in architecture and planning. As past planning director for the City of Denver (2014 – 2018) and an architectural practice with a deep resume of community driven affordable housing, it was a natural step for Brad and his family to look to the family ranch operation as a full-scale model for testing and proving up sustainable land use. And since 2018 Brad has been the CEO at the National Western Center where he is charged with implementing the mission and vision for the NWC, a 2 million square foot urban hub for food and agriculture. For Margaret, who has an intense connection with animals; what they need, when they need it, and what should happen next, she set the high bar the ranch has for animal welfare and an unwavering commitment to animal experience and treatment. From these core values we built the process to prove up the feasibility and sustainability of a small family run ranch that is laser focused on regenerative principles of slowing climate change, providing healthy, ethically raised, animal welfare prioritized, grass fed, grass finished beef. In 2022, their son Will Buchanan, after years of working at the ranch and graduating with an Ag degree from Kansas State, joined the family business. Over the years and now with this new partnership the Flying B Bar Ranch has flourished and grown physically but more importantly our impact has grown as we had hoped as well. From about 500 acres in 2006 to 5,000 acres today Flying B Bar Ranch has and continues to produce innovations and approaches to improving the land. From soil health to animal welfare to customer service, the small but mighty team at Flying B works tirelessly every day to make you proud to serve our beef on your family’s table. And we’re proud to now be a second-generation ranch operation in a world where that doesn’t happen as much as it used to.
And of course, it takes an amazing team to make all of this happen every day and we have the best bunch of those folks you can find at any ranch anywhere. Brad helps with the executive management and Margaret takes the lead with our custom and bulk orders and loves to work with customers trying “buying direct from the ranch” for the first time. She is incredible at making what can be an intimidating process completely understandable and comfortable for first time buyers. Will Buchanan manages our cattle herd and focusing on cattle health, animal welfare and improving the grasses we graze, Garrett Mehling who manages our farming operations is constantly amazing us with his innovations that improve soil health and sequestering carbon back into the soil, Zach Angotti wears many hats at the ranch and drives our operations performance and Nick Land who manages our online store operation ensuring every customer gets the best service and delivery of our beef. Our team is a group of inspiring regenerative farmers and ranchers, all looking to innovate and lead the conversation around improving the process of creating food for our community. And of course there are Charles and Pat too, but more on them later.
Meet the team at Flying B Bar Ranch
How we get all this done, it takes a team
I mentioned above that we couldn’t do what we do without the help we get from a host of places. Our friends come out regularly and lend a hand on everything from mending fences to branding calves. Of particular note are Jon, Howard and Phil all of whom have been MVCs, most valuable cowboys. And there are many others too who jump in whenever there is something to do.
And then there are Mike, and Troy who help me with just about everything and teach me something new every time they do. And Dave Palm who keeps all of our equipment running smoothly. And all the folks at Four Rivers Equipment.
John and Katie, Brad’s folks, have been invaluable too, coming out many years to help during calving season. That’s the toughest time of the year because a calf comes when a calf is ready to come, whether it’s 9 am, 9 pm or 3 am, they’re coming. And trying to balance everything that time of year is challenging. Having John and Katie here is just the best, and really helps a bunch.
I mentioned Charles and Pat earlier, and they will just hate that I actually put their names in print but there was no way this website was going to get written without a short note about them. We bought the ranch from Charles and Pat when they decided they only wanted to work one ranch instead of two; they said it was time to “retire”, to slow down a bit. Yeah, right. Anyway Charles and Pat should write a book so that more folks have the gift of their experience and knowledge. There is no way that we would have gotten to where we are today, just no way, without the gentle mentoring of Charles and Pat.
When we first bought the place Charles would occasionally stop by to see how we were doing. I always enjoyed it because I was working my way through a bunch of ranching and farming that I was doing for the first time, and Charles knew what the heck he was doing. Charles would never say exactly what he thought I should do except I started to catch on after a few times that when Charles says “if a guy wuz ta” fill in the blank, you better do it. There were a number of times when Charles said “if a guy wuz ta” something or another, and I didn’t do what a guy wuz ta, well suffice it to say you can learn things the hard way, or you can just listen to Charles. Charles and Pat understand the soil, the trees, the animals, and just the way of nature like you can only hope to someday. If you’re ever at the ranch and Charles is here that day, ask him something, anything and then just stay quiet until he says “if a guy wuz ta”. Then write that down.
“About us” would not be complete, not even close without a serious shout out to all the four-legged members of the family