David M. Jessup co-owns Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, where he introduces low-stress, grass-fed cattle raising methods to guests, and guests to the ways of both the old and the new West. A history buff, he is passionate about preserving open space, battling invasive weeds, catching wild river trout on a fly, singing cowboy songs, and telling stories about the American West—some of them true. He and his wife Linda now live in Maryland exploring the world with their grandchildren.
David Jessup is a popular speaker at book clubs, schools and community organizations on topics such as cattle ranching, sustainable agriculture (Git Along Little Microbes), land conservation, flood recovery (he’s been through two floods on the Big Thompson River in Colorado), fiction writing and the history behind his novels (Fact to Fiction). His talks are sponsored by the Heart-J Center for Experiential Learning. Mariano’s Crossing, his first novel, was selected as one of three finalists for the Colorado Book Award in literary fiction. He also won first place for mainstream, character-driven fiction in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Contest and was selected as a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Contest and the Santa Fe Writers Project.
Jessup’s blog, Beef, Books and Boots, contains stories of ranch life, articles on sustainable grass-fed beef, and reviews of his favorite books about the American West. A survivor of two catastrophic floods on the Big Thompson River, David has a keen interest in resilient river restoration designs to adapt to future flood events. David serves on the Board of the Big Thompson Watershed Forum, the Big Thompson River Restoration Coalition, and is a founding member of the Colorado Conservation Exchange, an organization creating a new financing mechanism to help land stewards implement conservation practices through a watershed investment fund. He works with several departments of Colorado State University on sustainable agriculture projects and a water quality pilot project to reduce nutrient runoff into the watershed.
Before returning to his seventy-year- old family ranch in 2000, David Jessup served with the Peace Corps in Peru, worked for human rights in Latin America with the AFL-CIO International Program in Washington, D.C., and collaborated with his wife, Linda E. Jessup, in raising four children and exploring fresh worlds with four grandchildren. Linda Jessup is founder of the Parent Encouragement Program and co-author of Parenting with Courage and Uncommon Sense.