It seems that Fahsholtz’ entire career has led him to this point. He’s been president and CEO of the Padlock Ranch for 12 years, the first non-family member to occupy the top management position at the ranch. Prior to his arrival at Padlock, he managed a large ranch in Nevada for 15 years and was involved in a family farm and ranch in Oregon for 18 years, among other things.

And throughout, he’s always been a heavy learner who enjoys learning new things and trying new things. He both attends and lectures at a wide variety of industry meetings, which gives him the opportunity to continue feeding his love of learning and be a teacher as well.

Among the industry meetings he’s been involved with is the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management lectureships. “I felt that was a successful program, one that was reaching young people but also reaching out to the agricultural community. And I had been intrigued with that.”

So, while he’s not copying what they do in Kingsville, he’s borrowing heavily from the concept of continuing education targeted at both his fellow ranchers as well as at high school and college students who will be the beef producers of tomorrow.

To that end, he hopes the program is more than a one-shot effort. “We’re planning on continuing and planning on doing some other things here at the ranch, if there’s interest.”

Starting this summer, Fahsholtz will have a little more time to concentrate on those types of projects. He will retire as Padlock president and CEO on July 1, and Patterson will step up to take his place. But he’s not going away by any means. “I will still be here in the community, doing some things for the ranch and doing some consulting.”

While he may be changing titles, he will continue to feed his lifelong hunger to learn. And don’t be surprised if you hear him talk about sustainability, which he says is a process of continuous improvement. “For those of us who like to learn, it’s always been about that,” he says.

He’ll also continue to share that knowledge. The Padlock has been long recognized not only for innovative ideas and management practices, but also for its leadership in land improvement. In fact, the operation, which is located in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains, was one of seven regional finalists for the 2013 National Environmental Stewardship Award.

A schedule of events and speaker bios for the Sheridan meeting are available on Fahsholtz’ blog, To register, contact Emily at the Padlock Ranch, 307-655-2264 or

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