Where lies the largest ranch in the world? The location might surprise you: Australia.
Anna Creek Station is the world largest working cattle ranch, measuring in at nearly 6,000,000 acres and larger than the entire country of Israel. It was established in its current location in 1872 and currently has around 17,000 heads of cattle after battling a devastating drought that began in 2001.
But those in the U.S. (and more specifically, Texas) may be more familiar with South Texas’ storied King Ranch, which still holds the prestigious title of being one of the worlds largest ranches at 825,000 acres. Founder Richard King was a river pilot from an Irish immigrant family who’d settled in New York City. He found his way to Texas in the mid-1800s, and became captivated by a region then known as the Wild Horse Desert. As legacy has it, "After well over a hundred miles of riding over the wild lands, he and his party came to the cool, refreshing waters of Santa Gertrudis Creek. King saw that this place that nourished so much wildlife could also sustain domestic stock, and King’s vision for a great cattle ranch began to take shape."
A century and a half after its establishment (1853), the men and women of King Ranch continue to grow crops, raise cattle and breed horses to ensure King Ranch remains a formidable economic force in the region.
Beyond Texas, another legendary larger than life operation is situated in 30 miles from Tucumari, New Mexico. The Bell Ranch is famous for its striking landscape, and its likeness has shown up on Stetson boxes and countless Marlboro campaigns. As described by The Land Report, “Few venues epitomize the American West like the gorgeous grasslands, stunning mesas, and rugged rimrock canyons surrounding the distinctive bell-shaped mountain a short ride north of the Canadian River.” But the ranch does more than look good: Its horse-breeding program can be traced back to a remount herd used by the U.S. cavalry almost a century ago.
The proof is in the pudding that across the world, different cultures and families are bonded together by the tireless business of good, old-fashioned, hard work.