Located in South Texas between Corpus Christi and Brownsville in the town of Kingsville, King Ranch was founded in 1853 by Captain Richard King. It includes portions of six Texas counties. Most of it is Kleberg county and Kennedy county, with portions extending into Brooks, Jim Wells, Nueces, and Willacy counties. The ranch does not consist of one single contiguous plot of land. It’s broken up into four divisions: the Santa Gertrudis, the Laureles, the Encino and the Norias.
Sprawling across 825,000 acres of land and takes a big staff to run it, King Ranch possesses a diverse range of skills while performing many different types of jobs.
A true cowboy at King Ranch, Ricky Falcon is the unit manager at the largest ranch in Texas. Ricky was born and raised in Kingsville, Texas. His grandfather introduced him to King Ranch at a young age. His passion for ranching began when his grandfather would take him out to their small family ranch to take care of the cattle. Ever since Ricky was a young boy, he always wanted to be a cowboy. He said, “I’m thankful every day that King Ranch has given me this opportunity to be here.”
What is your role at King Ranch? What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m the unit manager of heifer development at King Ranch. A typical day for me begins early in the morning and consists of gathering, working cattle, feeding heifers, and fixing water leaks. My unit and I are branding about 8 to 9 months out of the year as well. I usually work about 10 hours a day — sometimes even 11 to 12 hours. It’s a very long day, but I am honored to work for the world’s largest ranch. I’ve been employed here for 30 years and have enjoyed every minute of it.
Credit- King Ranch
What does it mean to be a “Kineño”?
If you work for King Ranch, you’re a Kineño. A Kineño means Kingsman. To be called a Kineño is something to be proud of — it’s a legacy that we take great pride in.
I’ve noticed that many of the men at King Ranch all share something in common: the mustache. What is its purpose?
My great grandfather has it, and we all look like him. If you put my whole family together, anyone could see for themselves that we all look like him: my father, my uncles, my brothers, my cousins. When you see his mustache, you’ll know why. It’s amazing!
Credit- King Ranch
Why are boots important in your role?
Well in our line of work, we need a boot that’s durable, long-lasting and comfortable. The durability of a Lucchese boot is awesome and trust me, we put them to the test, and we like them. I have the cowhorse boot that contains a broad square toe with a crepe sole.
What do you feel every day when you put on your Lucchese boots?
I’m ready to go to work, but also feel comfortable!
After outfitting cowboys in tough Texas country for more than 135 years each, it’s only fitting that Lucchese and King Ranch saddle shop have partnered to handcraft boots made to work in harsh conditions.
To shop the Lucchese King Ranch collection, visit https://www.krsaddleshop.com/search?keywords=lucchese
For more information about King Ranch, visit their website https://king-ranch.com/.