Steamboat Springs Gilbert Anderson isn’t sure whose first name was on the original family ranch in North Routt County. He does know that the last name was Norman, however, and that his family’s ranching heritage in the area has extended more than a century.
Anderson and his wife, Stephanie, were slated to receive the Heritage Family Award from the Community Agriculture Alliance at the Mountain Valley Bank Ranch Rodeo on Friday night.
“I guess my speech would be that I’m there to accept the award in my ancestors’ honor, and hopefully the descendants will continue in the same path,” Gilbert Anderson said.
The Andersons raise cattle and hay in Clark with their two sons, 12-year-old Will and 10-year-old Tyler. Gilbert Anderson said he was inspired to continue the ranching tradition by his maternal grandmother, Mary Mosher. She loved nature and kept logs of when plants would bloom and when the snow would melt, he said.
“There’s no better way to be aware of nature than ranching, agriculture,” Anderson said.
According to the Agriculture Alliance, Anderson’s ties to the area go back 120 years. His maternal great-grandmother’s father homesteaded across the Elk River near the Moonhill Schoolhouse, his maternal great-grandfather’s parents homesteaded near Clark, one set of paternal great-grandparents homesteaded near Foidel Creek on Twentymile Road, and the other paternal great-grandparents settled near Crosho Lake at the base of the Flat Tops.
“I guess what they used to say is that’s where the wagon wheel fell off is why we are where we are,” Anderson said.
The Agriculture Alliance is honoring the family for staying in the ranching business despite the challenges of running a small business in the agriculture industry.
Anderson said his and Stephanie’s sons still go to school in the same North Routt schoolhouse their great-grandmother attended. The children are Nordic skiers with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, and Will enjoys team roping.
Gilbert Anderson said he enjoys ranching in a beautiful valley with productive agricultural land.
“I’d call it an oasis in the West,” he said. “Everybody loves the green — all the green means it’s productive.”
Anderson also said he wanted to thank the “weekend warriors” who help him with his ranch when they can — Billy Dines, Julie Shook, Stuart Raska and Jory and Lisa Larkin — as well as his employee, Joe Pokay.