Nestled in the gateway to the Big Horn Mountains, lies the town of Lovell, Wyoming home to the “Flying E” ranch owned and operated by third generation rancher Spencer Ellis. The Ellis family came to Wyoming in the 1920’s when Spencer’s grandpa, George Ellis came to the area while serving in the Civil Corp of Engineers digging canals and building dams in the area.
Today, the Flying E Ranch supports three generations of Ellis’, Spencer, his wife Annette and the couple’s son Casey (23) are on the ranch daily along with Spencer’s father Larry. Annette also teaches math at the local junior high school. Spencer and Annette’s daughter Melissa (21) is pursuing a master’s degree in Speech Pathology at the University of Wyoming.
In addition to raising Black Angus cattle, the Ellis clan grows corn, other grains and alfalfa. They also operate a small feedlot and have a custom farming business offering farming, planting and harvesting services to others in the area. In the summer, Flying E cattle graze the rugged terrain of the big horn mountain range where roads are scarce and wildlife is abundant. Cattle are trailed up the mountain and monitored on horseback, a labor-intensive effort covering a vast number of miles.
As a third generation rancher, Spencer hopes that his children will continue the family tradition of raising safe, wholesome beef. To ensure this, he is committed to environmentally sustainable farming and ranching practices that are as unique as the area where he raises his cattle. “My ranch supports a lot more than just cattle. The same land that provides food and open space for our livestock is also home to deer, elk, antelope, pheasants, moose, trout and many other species,” says Spencer. “Cattle ranching families like mine walk the same land, breathe the same air and drink the same water as the families who consume the beef we raise. We take our commitment to protect and improve natural resources seriously.”
Feature date: 2016