Meet Ryan Black from Farmer Wants a Wife

When television network titan FOX reached out to Ryan Black with an invitation to star in its reality dating show titled Farmer Wants a Wife last year, the Gastonia, N.C., horse trainer welcomed the opportunity to shed light on his rural lifestyle. A North Carolina native and third generation cowboy, Black spent his childhood watching his uncles train colts and work cattle on his grandfather Bennie Gene Pryor’s ranch. It didn’t take long for the dream to take root: He was going to be a cowboy, too.

Ryan Black on a blue roan horse
Photo by Sophia Bellafair

Although he played football in grade school and was offered more than a dozen collegiate football scholarships, the Western lifestyle remained an integral part of Black’s life. During his free evenings and weekends, he could be found on the ranch starting colts and training horses.

Black carried the dream into adulthood, where he put his real estate connections to good use, purchasing a 44-acre plot of land he aptly named Blackstone Ranch—a self-proclaimed Yellowstone Dutton Ranch spinoff.

Black says that while he is grateful for the opportunity to own Blackstone Ranch and film Farmer Wants a Wife onsite, wheels are in motion for big changes soon. Ever the dreamer, he plans on taking the rural life- style center stage.

Western Life Today: What prompted you to join Farmer Wants a Wife?
Ryan Black:
I think there’s a difference between looking for love and being open for love. When you’re looking too hard trying to find love, you can find the wrong kind. But when you’re open to love, it allows it to come into your life in a more natural way. When the show reached out, I was open to finding love.

Then, when I learned we would be filming on my ranch where my lifestyle would remain intact and I would truly get to be myself, that really influenced my decision to say yes.

WLT: What has your experience on Farmer Wants a Wife been like?
Being on the show has been phenomenal. I’ve experienced so much personal growth in a short period of time. When you’re dating multiple girls at once like I was on the show, there are a lot of different emotions and personality traits to consider. You have to be considerate of each person’s likes and dislikes, their communication style and their individual love language. By default, it made me a more well-rounded gentleman. I’m a much better man overall because of the experience—it made me a better version of myself.

WLT: How have your friends and family responded to your participation on the show?
My friends loved seeing me on the show. My family had a lot of reservations, but my mom was supportive even though it was outside of our normal. She was on some of the episodes and was happy to be a part of it all and support me.

My dad didn’t even know I was going to be on the show until the first commercial was released. It was such a well-kept secret! He only lives 20 minutes from the ranch, and during the entire filming I managed to dodge him. It was hard because he had a steer he wanted to take in for processing and I had to keep extending the pickup day.

He would call and ask if I wanted to go fishing and I would say, ‘Not this weekend.’ One day he called me and was like, ‘I haven’t seen you in two months. I’m on my way over there now.’ It was perfect—we had just wrapped up filming the day before.

WLT: What discipline of riding do you focus on at Blackstone Ranch?
I will put a foundation on any type of horse from dressage to draft horses, but I am a Quarter Horse guy. I love a good cow-bred horse. I own three stallions—BSL Lil Mans Try, Semi Automatic Gun and Ironside Metallic—and bred 29 mares [in 2022].

As far as showing goes, it’s cutting horses all the way for me. [In 2024] I’m expecting a foal by Metallic Cat—I think he’s the greatest horse to ever walk on land, so I’m excited about that.

WLT: What do you love most about the rural lifestyle?
There’s something to be said about connecting with nature. Different people connect in different ways, but for me, I find connection in the animals, in walking on the land itself and making sure it’s providing what my animals need. It removes so much of myself out from the equation when I’m living and working for other beings.

This article about Ryan Black of Farmer Wants a Wife appeared in the Summer 2023 issue of Western Life Today magazine. Click here to subscribe!

Jessica Lash

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