This is a Sponsor Highlight. As a community-supported news website, BenitoLink works to be transparent about its funding and publishes short profiles on our sponsors who are dedicated to establishing lasting local news and information for San Benito County residents.
Mike and Frank O’Connell, owners of Ranchers Feed & Western Wear have been a part of the Hollister business community since 1976, and have been at their First Street location for 20 years. They started out by providing vaccinations for livestock to local ranchers, but over time they turned the business into a feed and general supply store to serve the whole community.
As the area has changed over the years, so did the store. The O’Connells expanded to meet the needs of families raising small animals, such as goats and sheep, as well as family pets. Now the store’s stock includes pet food and supplies, as well as western style clothing and housewares.
Frank O’Connell said that Ranchers Feed became a sponsor of BenitoLink because “it’s a community-based entity and there’s really no other news outlet that we could see that was getting out to the people”. He said, “We are all about the community here.”
Ranchers sponsors other community events and agriculture related youth organizations including 4-H. They have been San Benito County Fair sponsors since 1976. They also support the annual San Benito Saddle Horse Show & Rodeo and two years ago when the Hollister Downtown Association stopped presenting the preshow parade Ranchers Feed got involved and decided to liven it up a little. Taking its cue from other popular rural parades, they started a cattle drive through downtown Hollister during the San Benito Rodeo Parade. For the young families along the parade route, about 20 head of cattle meandering loose down San Benito Street is exciting to watch.
Ranchers has also been a long time BenitoLink sponsor. Frank said BenitoLink “is kind of an extension of the way the ranching community works together, where we all help each other out to make things work.”
Sponsors like Ranchers Feed and Western Wear help keep San Benito County residents informed by providing funding for ongoing coverage of local government and politics, transportation, housing and development, education, and investigative reporting. Many individuals and local businesses have taken on this important role of keeping the community informed by supporting BenitoLink, San Benito County’s nonprofit, community news source.
To learn more, contact Executive Director Leslie David at [email protected] or (831) 801-1356.