Set against the backdrop of the Majestic Colorado Rockies, RaeMarie Knowles grew up on a ranch outside of Castle Rock, Colorado. Her days were filled with cows and horses which left little time for anything else – and RaeMarie would not have had it any other way!
Being the fourth generation in a family of prestigious cattlemen, RaeMarie had some big shoes to fill. Her grandfather “Doc” and both her mom and dad taught her about ranching and what it means to be a rancher and member of the ag community. From a young age, RaeMarie knew that cattle and horses were her future. If she wasn’t working on the ranch, you would find her in the cattle show barn or riding hell-bent-for-leather across the lush mountain pastures.
After a blessed childhood surrounded by a wonderful family and critters of all shapes and sizes, RaeMarie knew that whatever she did in life, it would have to be in the world of agriculture. RaeMarie attended Northeastern Junior College on a Livestock Judging scholarship and then transferred to Colorado State University where she competed on the highly successful CSU Collegiate Livestock Judging Team. She then received her Bachelor of Animal Science with a Beef Industry Concentration and graduated with honors.
Not sure where her path would take her, RaeMarie decided she wanted more hands-on industry experience. She understood the cow-calf sector inside and out, but it was time to learn more about feeding cattle. So, she went out into the world and worked in the feedyard – Learning anything the managers would teach her about the feeding sector. This short path in her career timeline culminated in RaeMarie working side-by-side with an exceptional feedyard manager, learning all aspects of the feedyard operations in detail – And included total (solo) management of the 50,000 yard every other weekend.
After a couple of years of some of the hardest days she ever worked in her life, RaeMarie moved back to Colorado and went to work for the National Livestock Producers Association, representing the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. RaeMarie traveled to 46 of the lower 48 states in 2004 and spoke with cattlemen all across this great country while helping to promote beef in over 200 cities. She appeared on many state television news channels, local radio stations, and spoke at over 250 auction markets nationwide.
Once her gypsy days came to an end (temporarily), RaeMarie planted herself back in Colorado and went to work as an editor for the Western Livestock Journal. Not one to let the dust settle under her feet for too long, RaeMarie high-tailed it for Helena, MT where she worked as the Director of Membership and Grassroots Development at the Montana Stockgrower’s Association.
RaeMarie’s time in Montana was a blessing, but home and the ranch in Colorado called to her. After accepting a position at another verification company, RaeMarie traveled 40+ weeks a year, across the country, conducting 1,000’s of audits for nearly six years – This opportunity ignited her passion for the world of agriculture verification.
After leaving that position, RaeMarie successfully created one verification company, which she chose to step away from, before finding home with her business partners and exceptional team at Legacy Verified.
RaeMarie is passionate about the cattle industry, but she likes to lead a very fulfilled life. She married custom saddle-maker, Tad Knowles, in 2013 and they purchased a small ranch outside of Kiowa, Colorado where they breed, raise, train, and show reined cowhorse and ranch versatility horses.