Jeff & Runinda McCormack
McCormack Ranch History
The McCormack Ranch was formed when William U. and Ellen (Dahl) McCormack along with their son William R (Bill) moved to Bear Creek in 1943. Bill took over management of the ranch after his father’s death in 1956. Bill married Donna C. U’ren in 1957. They had 3 children, William D., Jeff and Kelley. William D. and Jeff returned to the ranch and became partners with Bill and Donna in the early 80’s. Kelley and her family live in Beaverton.
The ranch has grown throughout the years by the purchase of adjoining ranches. The growth has enabled the family to continue to ranch with the next generations.
Bill and Donna still live at the ranch. Bill helps where and when he can. Donna continues to be and will always be the social director and cook (she cooked for the hired hands in her early years as a new bride on Bear Creek) on the ranch.
Son Bill is the manager of the farming operation and is the ranch mechanic. Billy’s wife is a teacher in Prineville and between them they have 4 children, Christopher (Valerie) just graduated from law school, Cindy, who is an LPN in Bend, Kurt (Jamie) who lives in Seneca and Janey who is a school teacher in Hermiston.
Jeff and his wife Runinda (Robertson) manage the cattle operation. Runinda handles the ranch bookkeeping duties as well as the McCormack Recreational Ranch. They have two children, Holli Kingsbury (Ryan) and Tyler (who will be getting married June 2015 to Barbara Jayne Lerwick).
Holli, Ryan, Tyler and Barbara Jayne are the fourth generation of McCormack’s to ranch on Bear Creek.
As our family continues to live and work on Bear Creek, we daily are reminded of the settlers who were here before us as most of our pastures continue to be named for those early pioneers.
Before Country Natural Beef, we marketed our yearlings off grass here at the ranch, a one time of year market, September. We took the price that was offered that month. We did not have phone service, the nearest phone being at Brothers, Oregon, 25 miles away. Bill made many trips in the late summer and fall to contact buyers in order to sell the yearlings.
Country Natural Beef offered us marketing several times a year and a stable price. Our financial institution was pleased with both of these features. Our family ranch is one of the original 14 Country Natural Beef members. We had the first cattle go through the program. The 5 head of steers were hauled down to Carlton Packing in a 5th wheel trailer from Norton’s feedlot in Prineville.
The idea of marketing a lean, antibiotic and hormone free product looked like an idea for the future. It has also made it easier to transfer the operation to the next generation.