John Welch was born in Midland, Texas to parents Charles and Eileen Welch in August of 1950. After graduating from Midland High School in 1968 John entered Texas A & M University where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics in 1972. John then went to work for his uncle, Buster Welch, who was operating a ranch in Midland County at the time. In 1973 CattleFax hired John as a market analyst covering all of Texas and the Southeast U.S. He eventually became their head research analyst. In 1976 he took a job with the National Cattleman’s Beef Association in Denver as the staff representative for marketing and liaison for state cow/calf associations.
Over the next six years John worked in management of a feed yard, a commodities broker for an investor cattle feeding company and eventually became a partner in a brokerage firm specializing in cattle and grain futures trading. In 1985 he became a self-employed rancher in Colorado and Nebraska.
In 2003 Dub Waltrip, then President and CEO of the Spade Ranches and was soon to retire, convinced John to be his replacement at the Spades. John recently retired as President and CEO to sit on the Board of Directors of the Spade. His son Wesley has taken the reins of the Spade as current President and CEO.
John continues to ranch on 23,000 acres in Southern Colorado and lives in Wolfforth. He currently serves on the boards of the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raiser’s Assoc., the Texas Livestock Marketing Assoc. and the Spade Ranches. He has been a former director of the National Cutting Horse Assoc., and the Executive Committee of the Ranching Heritage Association. He has received numerous awards for his soil and water conservation efforts.
He and his wife, the former Bonnie Matthews also of Midland, have three sons, Bob and wife Kristen of Franktown, Colo., Andy and wife Reanna of Fowler, Colo., and Wesley and wife Ledah of Lubbock.