Renee King Sonnen & Tommy Sonnen
Renee King-Sonnen is the Founder and Executive Director of Rowdy Girl Sanctuary, a 501(c)(3) non-profit with pioneering initiatives: The Rancher Advocacy Program transitions cattle ranchers and animal farmers out of animal agribusiness and Families Choosing Compassion is a compassionate alternative to Future Farmers of America and 4-H. Since going vegan on October 31, 2014 Renee has converted Rowdy Girl Sanctuary from a cattle ranch to a sanctuary for over 120 animals–the first documented beef cattle ranch vegan conversion in history. As a result her husband, a former cattle rancher is now vegan and together they are creating a strong vegan footprint in Texas. Because of extreme flood events associated with climate change, Renee recently moved the entire organization from Angleton to Waelder, Texas near Austin and San Antonio. She is passionate about the future, and is laying the groundwork to build an educational center and knowledge base with a central theme of showcasing ranchers and animal farmers in RAP programming; and she is developing a facility and system of care designed to care for aging bovine and other large animals for the rest of their natural lives as beings instead of food.
Tommy Sonnen is co-founder of Rowdy Girl Sanctuary and is a multi-generational Texas cattle rancher who retired from Dow Chemical in 2014. After over 30 years on the job, Tommy was ready to get back to his roots and revive the ranching legacy of his great-grandfather. When his wife Renee went vegan and bought the herd, his life changed forever. Six months later, Tommy went vegan and became co-founder of the now world-renowned Rowdy Girl Sanctuary (RGS).
Tommy also serves as a lead advisor for the Rancher Advocacy Program (RAP). He works directly with ranchers and animal farmers in transition as well as working closely with the RAP Research and Development team on topics focusing on herd longevity and high quality pastures for the care and nutrition for large bovine populations, and more. Tommy is currently creating a veganic farm at Rowdy Girl Sanctuary as part of RGS’ long-term viable business model. Tommy loves to hunt… but now he hunts for historical relics and arrowheads. Tommy is a long time, avid and accomplished metal detector and enjoys walking the land with the herd looking for amazing finds.