Walter Ralphs was the majority owner and founders of the Prather Ranch, as it is known today. Mr. Ralphs purchased the ranch headquarters in 1964 and was a driving force in the direction of the ranch’s philosophy. The former president of Ralphs Supermarkets, Mr. Ralphs was an innovator in the supermarket business. Up until the end of his life, he continued to remain active in the ranch’s operation. Tony Ralphs, Walt’s oldest son, has assumed his father’s position in the ranch after Walt’s passing in 2010.
Jim, Mary and James Rickert are the owners and operators of Western Agricultural Services, a professional farm and ranch management and appraisal firm. The Rickerts have been managing the Prather Ranch since the late 1970’s and have been instrumental in expanding the operation over the years. Jim is a fourth generation agriculturalist with a background in meat processing, Mary grew up around livestock and James has continued with the family’s passion for agriculture. All attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and majored in the field of agriculture.
Mark Estes brings his extensive cattle experience to the Prather Ranch headquarters. Mark can be found doing a variety of tasks with the ranch in his role as manager of the Headquarters Ranch. Mark’s calm nature and patience is a perfect fit for handling the cattle at Prather Ranch. Mark and his wife Laura have two young daughters and a son.
Chris Lawson can be found behind the wheel of a cattle truck or the meat truck that services the ranch’s retail accounts. Chris has been with Prather Ranch since 2002. Chris’ wife Donna is a favorite of everyone at the ranch and is appreciated for her birthday cakes and culinary skills.
Carl and Cathy Weatherford came to the Prather Ranch from Nevada with many years of beef cattle experience. They live in the Fall River Valley during the summer season and move with the cows to the winter range during the winters.
Seth Wilson has been a welcome addition to the Prather Ranch crew. Seth is multi-talented and has been one of our truck drivers when cattle are hauled between the various ranches. Seth is an excellent cowboy and handy with a welder. His wife Amanda provides lunch for the ranch crew every Tuesday. They have two lovely daughters.
Corrine Douglass is from Washington State and has worked on many different aspects of the ranch, from cutting hay to shipping strawberry nursery plants. Corrine now supervises the processing facility and meat cutting.
The meat processing crew The meat processing crew, Craig Holbrook, Tim Underwood, Jeff Langford and Serafin Alvarado all do their part to keep the Prather Ranch meat customers satisfied.
Allen Maxwell is from Vina and now resides at the Bella Vista ranch. Allen is an excellent horseman and horse trainer.
The Mozqueda family has had three generations represented at the ranch for over twenty years. Currently Salvador, Alfonso, and Jesus primarily work at the hay ranch, with younger members of the family working during the summer months.
The ranch hires numerous seasonal workers and has hired many college and foreign interns over the years. The ranch has an active internship program and looks forward to hosting college age students from all over the country. This gives everyone at the ranch the opportunity to share their knowledge and skill-set with young people, the future of the beef industry.