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OUR background

Prairie Ridge Buffalo Ranch was started by Ray and Debbie Thieman in 1999 as a small hobby ranch.  The ranch grew and developed into a sustainable buffalo ranch with nearly 800 buffalo of various ages. Since then they have involved their daughter and son-in-law as well as all 12 of their grandchildren to achieve their goal of having a truly multi-generation ranching operation. They have developed an outstanding breeding program that provides for a consistently improving herd through selection and purchasing of superior bulls.  


The Prairie Ridge Buffalo herds are located on 4 separate ranches and 15,000 acres of native grasslands as well as their finishing facility at the main ranch headquarters. Partnered with Savory Institute, they help in range land restoration and sustainable bison production. Prairie Ridge Buffalo Ranch is a fully integrated ranch with bison cows producing calves which are all grown and finished on the ranches to be able to sell them directly to their customers. 


Ray and Debbie Thieman

  • Purchased their first 29 buffalo in 1999

  • Leased 12,000-acre ranch and expanded the herd to 1500 buffalo in 2002

  • Served on National Bison Association Board of Directors

  • Involving children and grandchildren to make a multi-generational ranch

Shawn and Carrie Bennett

  • Shawn is the ranch manager at Prairie Ridge Buffalo Ranch

  • Purchased their first buffalo herd in 2019; became 50% partners in 2022
  • Shawn runs the feed system for over 300 buffalo and guides the hunts

  • Carrie manages the store, tours, special events, and the social media
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Aaron and Jaymi Thieman

  • Grandson Aaron has worked with Grandpa Ray on the ranch since preschool

  • Purchased first buffalo in 2012 and now owns 14 buffalo cows

  • Works on the ranch during the summer and on holiday breaks

  • Aaron and Jaymi teach in Elbert, CO

Cody and Desa Bennett

  • Grandson Cody purchased 10 buffalo cows in 2018

  • Helped with construction of the pavilion and began ranch tours

  • Works on the ranch during the summer and on holiday breaks

  • Cody teaches in Laramie, WY

  • Desa works for NextEra Energy Resources

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Matt Thieman

  • Grandson Matt purchased 10 buffalo cows in 2023

  • Helped with construction of the pavilion and event center

  • Works on the ranch during the summer and on holiday breaks

  • Matt teaches in Agate, CO

Cannan and Avery Bennett

  • Grandson Cannan has been working on the ranch with Grandpa Ray since he started walking

  • At age 10, Cannan purchased his first buffalo through a Farm Service Agency youth loan

  • Purchased 80 more buffalo cows in 2023 and continues to expand his herd

  • Cannan manages our largest herd on land leased from Savory Institute

  • Avery teaches at Limon, CO, and helps with tours and events on the ranch


Nathan Thieman

  • Grandson Nathan purchased 2 buffalo cows in 2021

  • Takes pictures of buffalo to continue in photography

  • Works on the family ranch during the summer and on holiday breaks

  • Nathan is a para-professional for Trent's Team in Calhan, CO

Wyatt, Ty, and Makenna Stanko

  • The youngest grandchildren received 2 buffalo cows from their parents in 2018

  • Expanded to 4 buffalo cows in 2020

  • Creating savings for college fund for themselves through their growing herd

  • Worked on the family ranch during the summer and on holiday breaks

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