Ranch Owner: Herb LePlatt and his Wife Betsy consider L-J Ranch their “home place”. Herb is a commercial pilot, and spends his days flying around the world, yet makes it back to Bayfield every month for his board meeting at the Pine River Valley Bank. The family resides year round in Minnesota, but he and Betsy love bringing their daughter Sveta back to L-J Ranch to ride horses and take long walks around the lake. Betsy is a well known artist, and spends her days raising their daughter, creating works of art, and enjoying their cabin in the woods. Herb grew up on the ranch, and his parents Jack & Jewell LePlatt made it the gem it is today. Herb is proud to carry on their legacy by keeping it a working ranch.


Ranch Manager: Natives to the area, Paul Black and his Wife Krii consider themselves blessed to raise their children on this beautiful ranch. Living on and care-taking a ranch of this size is a full time job! On any given day you will find Paul on horseback, tractor or foot, working hard as always. While he excels at raising the finest Colorado Natural Beef and Quality Grass Hay, the Hops are his pet project so to speak. He spends countless hours in the fields, usually accompanied by his three year old son Colt. He can ride anything, fix anything, and build anything, but we might be a little biased! He even engineered the entire overhead trellis system for Pine River Hops. Krii Black is a Certified Wedding Planner, and spends her time raising their two babies and working with brides at LePlatt’s Pond. She considers herself lucky to plan events and Weddings at LePlatt’s Pond, and to work in her backyard! She loves her family, horses and gardening, and is often accompanying Paul with Ranch work & chores. Paul, Krii and Colt were blessed with a daughter & sister, Arabella, in June of 2013.


The two families work closely together on ranch goals, plans, and devote all their time and energy into improvements. They are dedicated to the ranch’s success, and well being, and the ability to call L-J Ranch “home”.