The Larimer County Fair & Rodeo Board are proud to present the 2016 “Family of the Year,” award to the Bixlers, owners of Ranch-Way Feeds in Northern Colorado. The Bixlers will be awarded at the PRCA Rodeo at the Larimer County Fair on Sunday, Aug. 7.
Ken and Phyllis Bixler were both born in the small town of Harrison, Neb. into ranching families. They were married in 1948 and had three children, Robert H. Bixler, Bonnie Bixler Szidon and Joe Bixler. The family moved to Colorado in 1967 and were involved in ranching, oil and banking. The Bixlers and a group of investors purchased Ranch-Way Feeds in 1968. In the late 1980s, day to day management of Ranch-Way Feeds was passed on to Bonnie, Kim and Joe. Ken and Phyllis played an active role on the Ranch-Way Feeds board of directors until their passing.
Over the last five decades, the Bixler family has taken the oldest continuously running business in Fort Collins and transformed it into a flourishing feed business with state of the art manufacturing equipment. Currently, Ranch-Way employs more than 50 workers and produces more than 60,000 tons of feed a year. In addition to the Ranch-Way Feeds located in downtown Fort Collins there are two successful retail stores – one in Santa Fe, New Mexico and an additional store at the mill in Fort Collins.
Bonnie and family are long-time donators to 4-H, FFA, Colorado State University, and numerous livestock and rodeo events. Ranch-Way further invested in youth by sponsoring the Larimer County fair and by acquiring the naming rights to the Ranch-Way Feeds Indoor Arena.
“If I had to explain what has enabled Ranch-Way Feeds to become a leading manufacturer of animal nutrition in the Rocky Mountain Region, I would have to credit the success to the “Free Enterprise System” of this wonderful country,” said Phyllis Bixler. “For 143 years there has been a milling business at the present site of our Fort Collins plant. Although devastated by fire, market reversals and financial shortcomings, someone who believed in the American dream has always been willing to roll up their sleeves and start over. Today, the people who make up Ranch-Way Feeds have that same strong desire to keep the dream alive. With the support of our loyal customers, our investment in quality products, service and people, we believe this vision will continue to unfold. May your prosperity only be surpassed by your happiness.”
The 2016 Larimer County Fair and PRCA Rodeo runs from Aug. 5-9 at The Ranch in Loveland. Events at this year’s Fair include Gnarly Barley Brew Festival on Saturday, Aug. 6, Dog and Pony Show on Saturday, Aug. 6, PRCA Rodeo on Aug. 7-9, fireworks on Aug. 5-6 and much more. For fair information, visit www.LarimerCountyFair.org.