Spade Ranches, established in 1889, have been a leader in the ranching industry since it’s inception. Spades was built by and on innovation. In fact the founding owner, Isaac Ellwood, was the original patent holder for barbed wire. Quite naturally, Renderbrook Spade, the original ranch south of Colorado City, Texas, was one of the first ranches to be fenced in Texas. Other innovations adopted by Spades included cross-fencing, rotational grazing and cross-breeding systems.

The Spades today consists of six outfits: the original, Renderbrook Spade, in Mitchell, Sterling and Coke Counties; Wagon Creek Spade in Throckmorton and Baylor Counties; Panhandle Spade in Roberts and Hemphill Counties and Alpine Spade in Brewster and Presidio Counties, totaling about 275,000 acres. Wesley Welch is the President and CEO of Spade Ranches and the board of directors includes five of the great-great-grand children of Isaac Ellwood.

A driving force for Spades has always been to nurture its rich history and tradition while keeping an eye on the future of ranching industry.