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Hall of Great Westerners
Inducted in 2020
Bennett Richard

Bennett Richard "Ben" Houston

1929 - 2016


Bennett “Ben” R. Houston showed his first calf in 1938 as a 9 yr-old schoolboy; this was the start of his American Dream to have a cattle ranch, a family to nurture, a good horse to ride, and a chance to give something back for the opportunity of fulfilling a dream. Ben’s parents, Walter and Minnie (Leach) Houston, homesteaded in Yuma county, Colorado, but later moved to Buckingham, a small community in northeastern Weld county. Walter was a pioneer Angus breeder from whom Ben learned his strong work ethic and western values. Ben graduated from Sterling High School and served 4 years in the USAF during the Korean conflict. During his enlistment he attended the University of Illinois. In 1950 he married Anita Lambert and they had 4 children. Ben was herdsman for Norgren Polled Hereford Ranch, manager of Hilltop Angus and Haystack Angus Ranches, and joined the Austin Moody Sale Management organization. His cool, polite, likeable manner and keen eye for ‘a good one’ left him with many friends at every stop he made. In 1965, Ben established Aristocrat Angus Ranch on the St. Vrain near Platteville, CO. The operation included a feedlot, an embryo transfer center, and croplands. In 1976 Ben was appointed to the Executive Committee of the National Western Stock Show. He was elected President in 1985 and Chairman of the Board in 1999. Ben was a member of the American Angus Association for over 50 years and was inducted into the Angus Heritage Foundation in 2001. He served as president of the Colorado Cattle Feeders, Director of NCA, Round-Up Riders of the Rockies and Colorado National Bank. He was an ardent supporter of Colorado State University and served on the CSU Advisory Board, Developmental Board and CSURF. In 1995 Ben was honored with the National Western Stock Show Citizen of the West Award. Throughout his life Ben always gave much credit for his achievements to Nita, his wife of over 60 years, to his family, and to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Ben’s community service included Weld County 4-H Club leader, Valley High School FFA Advisory Committee, and Weld County Fair Board.

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