James A. "Jim" McAllen was born in Brownsville, Texas. He has spent his whole life on the McAllen Ranch, 35 miles north of Edinburg. Jim is an eleventh generation rancher in south Texas and head of the McAllen Ranch, McAllen Land & Cattle Co., Inc., McAllen Communications Co., and Ranch Specialties Co. in Hidalgo County. McAllen Ranch is involved in various conservation projects and is recognized as one of the oldest ranches in Texas still in operation by the same family. Jim is one of the founders and former president of the Museum of South Texas History and the Valley Land Fund. He serves as a director for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and was awarded the National Beefmaster Breeders United Environmental/Conservation Award. Jim was also presented the “San Antonio Conservation Society Publication Award” for a book he co-authored with his mother and daughter entitled “I’d Rather Sleep in Texas.” Jim and his wife Frances have five children, Mary Margaret (Amberson), Melissa (Guerra), Elizabeth (Roberts), James Jr., and Stephanie (Moore) and fifteen grandchildren.