Growing up on his family’s dairy farm in Upstate New York, Garth Eichler dreamed of becoming a dairy nutritionist. Graduating from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in dairy science and an associate’s degree in animal science, Garth headed West, intending to stay for one summer before returning East to launch his career. But within weeks, Garth knew he was already home.
Garth had held various positions at several guest ranches, including seasonal wrangler and barn foreman, when he heard Devil’s Thumb Ranch was looking to launch a horse program. Starting with one barn and corral, Garth built the stables to what they are today – one of The Ranch’s top activity centers offering trail, wagon and sleigh rides for all ages.
Looking for a new challenge eight years later, Garth received full support from leadership when he suggested starting an agriculture program. Starting with 39 Wagyu cattle, the population has grown to 172 with The Ranch harvesting 30-40 per year for the resort’s restaurants.
In addition, Garth took over the maintenance of the grounds, an all-encompassing job that includes landscaping, irrigation, fencing, snow removal, equipment maintenance, land management, pasture rotation, and the production of 300 tons of hay a year.
As busy as Garth is as Executive Director or Agriculture and Grounds, he has even more goals for his team and The Ranch. With a commitment to sustainability, he envisions the resort with its own dairy production, pig farm, and greenhouses for produce to further enhance the local experience at Devil’s Thumb Ranch.
I give my staff the same opportunities that have been given to me at Devil’s Thumb Ranch – the freedom to take ownership and pride in every position to provide our guests the most rewarding Colorado experience – Garth Eichler
Garth’s CAREER PATH AT THE RANCH: