The Ranching Heritage Association, originally known as the Ranching Headquarters Association, was conceived by ranchers and historians who recognized the need to preserve ranching history and tradition.

Founders of the organization sought to address the loss of historically significant ranch structures to time and the elements. Chartered as a Texas non-profit corporation in 1969, the Association’s stated purpose was to preserve the physical, social and cultural aspects of ranching and to assist in developing, interpreting and maintaining public interest in ranching history.

Maintaining this legacy remains the focus of the Ranching Heritage Association today. It strives to keep alive and perpetuate the traditions, intrinsic values and authentic history of the ranching industry.

As a major supporter of the National Ranching Heritage Center, the Ranching Heritage Association sponsors the preservation of historic ranch structures and artifacts, the documentation of ranch history and culture, and the presentation of annual awards and special events throughout the year. Educational in nature, public programming is designed to demonstrate historic and modern ranching methods and interpret aspects of cowboy and ranch life such as chuck wagon cooking, weaving, music, dance and social customs through accurate reenactments.

The Association maintains offices in the Christine DeVitt Wings of the DeVitt-Mallet Museum Building at the National Ranching Heritage Center. This historical park and museum, dedicated in 1976 in Lubbock, Texas, on the campus of Texas Tech University, was established to preserve the history of ranching, pioneer life and the development of the livestock industry in North America. More than 35 authentic, furnished ranch buildings and structures have been relocated to the NRHC and show the evolution of ranch life from the late 1700s through early 1950s.

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