About Us

In 1976, Montie Ritchie said, "Nobody or organization succeeds alone in the world, so the fact that we are able this year to celebrate our 100th birthday is due in large part to the wonderful loyal men and women, leaders who worked for and with us, men of imagination, men of skill, men of courage, men who braved the elements day or night, men who took pride in their crafts, loved their horses, and understood their cattle, and were eager to enhance the reputation of the JA and proud to be part of it."


Ninia Ritchie

Jay O’Brien

Andrew Bivins

Dale Smith

JA Ranch Management

Texas Ranch

Randal Gates - JA Texas Ranch Foreman

Randal Gates
Ranch Foreman

Randal comes from New Mexico, where he worked with his father at area ranches from a very young age. After graduating high school, Randal attended South Plains College, and then to the Clarendon College Ranch and Feedlot program where he graduated with an Associate Degree in Ranch and Feedlot Business. Working in different ranches and feedlots, Randal developed an eye for sick cattle and the traditional sense of how to handle cattle. Randal’s humble approach to integrity, honesty and hard work were strengthened by working with some great people at some of the most historical ranches that America has to offer. The Chappell Spade Ranch in 1997-1999. The JA Ranch in 1999-2003. The XL Ranch foreman from 2003-2008. The Swenson Ranch Wagon Boss from 2008-2010. In August of 2010 Randal returned as foreman to the JA Ranch, with his family. In his spare time, you can find Randal cooking on his grill or chasing kids.

Josh Krodle
Headquarters cowboy

John Jones
Davis Camp cowboy

Colby Lee
High Lonesome Camp cowboy

Les Freeland
Excavator Operator

Les and Alesia Freeland came to the JA Ranch in March of 2008 from New Mexico. Les is the Excavator/CAT operator at this time.

Both are New Mexico natives, although Les has worked in Miami, Texas on a farm & ranch and has driven combines on a grain harvest which went through several states from New Mexico through Texas up to Rapid City, South Dakota and back to New Mexico. Les comes from a family of cowboys. His family owned and operated several ranches in New Mexico; one near Capitan, one near White Oaks, on in Arabella (near Ruidoso), and one near Carrizozo.

Les grew up on ranches and has worked as a cowboy on ranches in New Mexico and Texas. He was also half owner of a water well and windmill business for over 20 years.

Les Freeland - Excavator Operator

Colorado Ranch

John Anderson - JA Colorado Ranch Foreman

John Anderson
Ranch Foreman

John has been with the JA Colorado ranch since 1994. For 17 years John has been working to improve all of the working elements of the ranch, including replacing 4 sets of pens and over 17 miles of fence. For these reasons and more, John was recognized by the Colorado Department of Agriculture as, “The Best Steward of Open Space” in 1999. John’s strong work ethic is also seen off the ranch as a distinguished police officer for 33 years, serving as Police Captain and SWAT Commander for the town of Castle Rock. John still finds time to be a husband and father. Lisa Anderson is Executive Assistant to the Town Manager and Town Council of Castle Rock and enjoys helping out on the ranch when she can. Jason, the oldest son, lives in Castle Rock with his wife and children. Brycen is serving in the Navy aboard an aircraft carrier. Matthew excels in high school sports and academics as well as working on the ranch.

Contributing Photographers

Lisa Freeland
Paloduro, TX

Alesia is a professional artist and photographer. The JA Ranch has allowed her endless opportunities to photograph and create artwork which portrays the naturalistic style of her work. Charities are her passion, 2nd only to her artwork. She has donated her work to the following charities; New Mexico: Roswell Tri-Club Pediatric Support Foundation-Children with Cancer, The Assurance Home for Children, The Boys & Girls Club, UNICEF, Elks Lodge-Children with Cerebral Palsy, The Albuquerque Christian Children's Home; Texas: North Texas Rehab Center, West Texas Rehab Center, and the West Texas Boys Ranch.

Lisa Freeland - Paloduro, TX

Herb Crowell - Amarillo, TX

Herb Crowell
Wagner's Studio (Amarillo, TX)

We enjoyed assisting with the restoration of photographs for the JA Ranch exhibit at the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in 2008. Since 1945, Wagner's Studio has provided Amarillo and the surrounding community with the finest in portrait, wedding, photo restoration and commercial photography.

Pam Schulz
Parker, CO

For the past 4 years, Pam has been hiking on the JA, putting her expertise as a field geologist and photographer to use in studying and documenting the geology of the ranch. In addition, she has compiled a vast archive of wildflower and scenic landscape photographs, showing the extraordinary beauty of this property.

Pam Schulz - Parker, CO

Zetta Jones - Littlefield, TX

Zetta Jones
Littlefield, TX

Many of the photos from “our living history” photo album are taken by Zetta.
A self-taught photographer, Zetta has an uncanny sense of detail and sees the beauty in places the rest of us never even look.

Additional Photograph Contributions From:
Raymond S. Matlack PHD - Associate Professor of Biology West Texas A&M
Ninia Ritchie, Julie Gates, Lisa Anderson, Marrisa Brock