J. Kenneth Sexton
1900 - 1975
Ken Sexton was born in Indiana and came to Sacramento with his parents in 1910. Intensely interested in livestock, he spent high school and college vacations working on ranches. Upon graduation from the University of California he went to work for the Murdock Land Company on its Stone Valley and Butte Creek ranches.
In 1926 Ken married Anna Belle Compton, daughter of H.C. Compton, largest stockholder and manager of the Murdock Land Company. Ken worked up in the company, participating in management, and finally leased the ranches from the company in 1941. In 1958 the Sexton family became sole owners of Stone Valley Ranch.
Even while building and running the large operation, Ken made outstanding contributions to the livestock industry. He was active in the California Cattlemen's Association, Califoria Beef Cattle Improvement Association, state and national Wool Growers Associations, and various advisory committees. In 1961 he was voted "Livestock Man of the Year". He was a cooperator with the University of California Agricultural Extension Service in a program to develop new and useful information in livestock production.
Ken was one of the first cattlemen to utilize crossbreeding of beef cattle. One of the unique practices on the Sexton ranch holdings was that of grazing sheep and cattle together. This increased production by approximately twenty percent. The beautiful headquarters and ranch operations became an international showplace with visitors from all over the world.
Ken Sexton was an outstanding American, an excellent Californian, an intelligent, generous individual, and a top-ranking livestock producer with an international flavor. He had a sharp, enquiring mind and can be characterized as being kindly, understanding, and friendly toward all.