Dan & Erin Barnhart
Pastureland situated along the banks of the Luckiamute River in the midst of the vast Douglas fir forests of Oregon’s Coast Range is where the Barnhart Ranch is nestled. The rainy climate keeps this valley beautifully green year round. My grandpa and his brother bought the farm during the early part of the Great Depression. Grandpa first came to this valley when he delivered meat to railroad workers at the turn of the last century. Since that time three generations of Barnhart’s have worked and played on the farm while learning the lessons of responsibility.
In the early days, a small sawmill cut timbers for the war effort. Beef and milk were raised on our farm to feed the families of the sawmill workers of that time. In those days, many families lived and worked on or near the farm. The mill is long gone now, but we still raise healthy beef for families who care about having a connection to where their food comes from.
Our farm has provided a wonderful environment where our kids have learned the value of hard work while they have helped to feed cows, put up fencing, made hay, and many other chores on the farm. The farm has also provided a safe place for them to romp around and play. The kids have spent hour upon hour, playing in the creek and exploring the hills that surround our valley. My dad experienced the same sort of things when he grew up here, as did I, and now my kids. I can’t think of a better place to live for a kid growing up.
Box T Ranch
Roger & Meredith Ediger
Mt. Vernon, Oregon
Box T Ranch near Mount Vernon, Ore., started as a dream born in the “old country” of Scotland.
With little more than love and work ethic, Scottish immigrants John and Margaret Masson settled in the United States at the turn of the century and made that ranching dream a reality in 1917. Through a homestead application and a small parcel acquisition of eastern Oregon landscape, the couple established a ranch large enough for two bands of sheep.
However, with the wool market collapse of the early 1920s and a looming threat of foreclosure, the Massons began raising cattle. Today, Roger and Meredith Ediger represent the third generation to operate the family’s 93-year-old farmstead.
Roger says for ranching families everywhere, a ranch represents a working relationship between a family, the land they care for, and the animals and plants that inhabit it.
“For the family it is a way of life that requires a serious dedication to the hard work that makes up their daily lives as stewards of their land,” he says.
“To be sustainable, Roger adds, ranchers must work the land in such a fashion as to obtain optimum production for forages, both crop and natural, not only for their livestock but also for the varieties of wildlife that also inhabit the land.”
“As stewards of this finite natural resource, it is the obligation of the ranch family to pass the land to the next generation in better condition than when they assumed care for it.”
Jim & Sandi Chapman
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Chapman Ranch is located in Poe Valley which is East of Klamath Falls, Or operated by Jim, Sandi, and Jason Chapman.
Jason is the 3rd generation. The original ranch was started by my father after he returned home from WWII. The original ranch consisted of 170 acres.
I received a B.S. in Animal Science from Oregon State U. in 1964. After graduation I was commission as an Ensign in the USN and served mainly in Viet Nam . During this time I married my wife Sandi.
I came back to the ranch after I got out of the Navy in Dec of 1967. At this time I owned 40 cows which I had purchased with money from my 4-H beef projects. In 1968 I bought by dad out. Since then we have added another adjoining ranch which brings the Oregon operation up to 750 acres. We also lease 4000 acres west of Willows, Ca. At the present time we run 350 cow/calf pairs. My father came to Oregon from Bishop, Ca. by wagon. My reason for staying in the ranching profession is simple, it is a great life and no better place to raise a family.
Columbia River Cattle
Dean and Sharon Defrees, Lyle Defrees
Sumpter Valley, Oregon
The Defrees Ranch is a Certified Century Ranch nestled in the Blue Mountain valley called Sumpter in northeastern Oregon’s Baker County. Our ancestors were pioneers who settled here beginning in 1871. More came in the 1880s and 1890s attracted to the area because of its beautiful mountains, good soil, clear cool water and vast forest. Today third, fourth, and fifth generation family members call the ranch home.
The ranch consists of native meadows and healthy, well-managed forest. The history of the valley is one of logging, mining and ranching. Family members have always enjoyed the Blue Mountains with the changing seasons of the Huckleberry Mountain peaks to the south and the Elkhorn Mountain Range to the north.
About 470 acres of Defrees Ranch property has been in the family continuously for over 100 years. The remainder has been in the family for over 50 years. The basic family goals for the ranch include a good income for a comfortable living, family member generation succession for the next generations, stimulate pride of ownership and maintain great aesthetics, provide private and public recreation, maintain a healthy and sustainable forest, monitor and maintain soil and water quality, and minimize risk of forest fires, tree diseases, and noxious weeds.
Livestock is the major source of income and their welfare is constantly monitored. We breed cattle that thrive in the ranch environment. We monitor closely their health, feed quality and quantity, thermal environment, clean water supply, handling techniques, and freedom from stresses.
There were two first generation ancestor couples who purchased land that is now part of the Defrees Ranch holdings. The first couple was Jacob J. Defrees and Mary Jennette Wisler Defrees. Jacob came to Oregon on horseback from Nappanee, Indiana in 1881 with an uncle, William Fisher. In 1908 the couple bought their Sumpter Valley property.
The second ancestor couple of the first generation was Alexander S. Izatt, Jr. and Leona Jane Tibbs Izatt. Alexander came to Oregon from Logan, Utah at age 16 to work in the lumber mills owned by his brothers-in-law, Joseph Stoddard and George Stoddard. Leona’s family were loggers. In 1904 Alexander and Leona purchased their portion of what is now the Defrees ranch.
The second generation was Albert D. Defrees, son of Jacob and Mary, and Ellen L. Izatt, daughter of Alexander and Leona, who were married in 1922 and the two land parcels, plus other properties, eventually were incorporated into the Defrees Ranch. Lyle Defrees (wife, Margaret Rice Defrees, now deceased) is third generation. Fourth generation, Dean Defrees (wife, Sharon Duke Defrees) is the ranch manager. The fifth generation is Dean and Sharon’s children: Nathan, Tyler, and Dallas.
In 2016 The Defrees Family was awarded the National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year award. See the video below and read more at this link: https://www.treefarmsystem.org/national-outstanding-tree-farmers-of-the-year–lyle-and-dean-defrees-from-oregon
Sam Dement, Ron & Joan Harpole, Gary & Diane Simon
Reprinted from the summer 2014 issue of Range Magazine
Ellis Samuel “Sam” Dement was born into a pioneer ranching family on Sept. 23, 1920 in Broadbent, Ore., not far from the homestead of his grandfather, Samuel Maxwell Dement. Samuel settled in Coos County in 1852 and started the first ranch in Oregon in 1854. The Dement brand, widely recognized as Oregon’s oldest brand, is still held by the family today.
From a young age, Sam was enamored with the ranching life. He spent his early years on a horse with his father. “I learned about ranching and how to handle cattle from my dad.” Sam was an outstanding athlete in high school. In 1938, he enrolled in what was then Oregon State College and played basketball all four years. “I was coached by Slats Gill and he taught me many lessons of life that I will forever live by.”
While at college he met the love of his life, Dorothy McArthur, o San Jose, Calif. She was a great-looking home economics major who would become a major asset as they raised their family and took over the family ranch. “I took my horse to college and often took Dorothy on rides around campus as I was courting her.”
Upon graduation, Sam entered the US Army, serving in World War II. He married Dorothy in February 1943 at Camp Roberts, Calif. They were married for 61 years, until Dorothy died of cancer in 2004. A daughter, Diane was born in San Jose. A second daughter, Joan, was born in Myrtle Point, Ore. The two girls and their husbands run the ranch today.
After the war, Sam’s dad leased the ranch to him and his older brother, Russell. Both families lived in Myrtle Point in the winter months so that the children could attend high school. In the summer, both families lived on th remote ranch, located at the old community of Eckley in the coast mountains of Curry County.
“Russ and I continued to sell three-year-old grass-fat steers off the ranch,” Sam says. “Times were tough.” In 1956, Sam bought out his brother’s interest and three years later changed the focus of the ranch to selling calves in the fall.
Sam served in the Oregon Senate in the late 1960s and was elected president of the Oregon Cattlemans’s Association in 1982. He also served as chairman of the board for 29 years at Security Bank, a bank that his grandfather helped start.
Sam has spent a lifetime improving the genetics of his cowherd. “I tried numerous crosses to improve the mothers in the herd.” Even after all of the crosses, he was partial to horned Herefords. “I just enjoyed their looks and felt they had a better disposition and used our feed more efficiently.”
In the lated 1990s, Sam and Dorothy started to transition the ranch to their two daughters and families. “My goal,” Sam says, “is to live long enough to make sure the Democrats in Congress receive no death taxes from the ranch so that the family can continue ranching.”
Sam has been blessed with good health. He was active on the ranch and on horseback until he was 90. His favorite ranch activity now is to spend evenings around the firepit in the backyard, telling stories about the family’s history to the roundup crew, usually with a glass of Jack Daniels in everyone’s hand.
Sam could serve as a walking billboard for the beef industry. He enjoys beef every day, usually with potatoes and gravy. He takes no prescription drugs and has amazing numbers for cholesterol and blood pressure.
“Hard work, exercise, and a beef diet will keep you healthy and active.” He is proud of the ranch and its history. His grandchildren are the sixth generation and his oldest great-grandchild is a freshman at Oregon State studying agriculture. There are 10 great-grandchildren and he says, “I hope one of them will continue the legacy of the Dement Ranch.”
Jim & Connie Dunham
Dunham Ranch came into being when Vern and Martha Dunham bought the original acreage in 1958. Vern had come from the line of Dunham farmers who settled in the Midvale and Cambridge, ID area in the 1920’s. Most of them lost their farms in the dust bowl era of the 1930’s and Vern’s dad moved to the Pendleton, OR area and farmed there. Vern eventually farmed on his own near Hermiston, then Kendrick, ID and finally came to Wallowa County. After living in the valley area, Vern was able to buy the current place in the Leap country north of Enterprise. Jim was 16 at the time and within a few years, declining health led Vern to retire and Jim secured a loan to buy the ranch.
The small herd of cows he took on wasn’t enough to make payments and live on, so Jim worked at the local saleyard, and did custom combining for neighbors. Eventually he was able to buy an adjoining acreage and also a 40 acre parcel in the valley which was ideal for calving. Jim and Connie were married in 1977 and raised five children on the ranch. One son, Jason, has stayed on and is now a partner in the operation. Jason and Shannon have a young son, Wyatt, who shows lots of interest in the big tractors and trucks!
Along with the cattle, the Dunhams raise their own hay and some barley and oats.
Jim and Connie carefully increased their cow herd to almost 400 mother cows, primarily commercial angus, and paid special attention to buying the best bulls they could to improve genetics related to calving ease, growth of calves, tenderness and great taste. Working through the generic marketplace was frustrating though, with not much extra money for all the extra input done with producing good calves. When they were approached by a CNB member with the perks of belonging to a co-op, they jumped at the chance to join.
Raising calves for the co-op required a few changes in the focus of the calf carcass, so now they use some Angus/Charlois cross bulls to meet size and grade requirements.
Jim has always worked at improving the land and water resources, developing a gravity fed water system that fills cattle waterers all across the ranch. No-til is used on the farm ground to preserve the soil and hold moisture. Timber is carefully managed providing good cover for wildlife and good tree growth. Timber covers almost half the ranch of 1500 acres and the rest is rolling hills with good bunch grass pasture.
They recently purchased canyon acreage east of Joseph for summer pasture and also rent some irrigated ground in the valley to grow hay and use for pasture.
Operation of the ranch is set up so that succeeding generations will be able to come on board and have the opportunity to keep raising good cattle and crops for the future.
Robert & Jerri Emert
Eleanor Fitzgerald, Larry Utley, & Rosanne Fitzgerald
Our fourth generation, family-owned business began in the early 1900’s when Con Fitzgerald immigrated to Lake County, Oregon, from County Cork, Ireland. He homesteaded near Rock Creek on Hart Mountain. He later moved his family to Synder Creek, where he and his two sons, Don and Bob, ran three bands of sheep along with a small herd of cattle. Today, Don’s daughters, Rosanne and Eleanor, take pride in managing the family ranch in a manner that will ensure the survival of our operation for our children and future generations.
Con & Sally Fitzgerald
The Fitzgerald Ranch was started in the early 1900’s by Con Fitzgerald’s Grandfather and originally it was a sheep operation. The original ranch location is what is now known as the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge located east of the Warner Mountains. In 1936 the ranch moved west to Plush, Oregon and over time changed to a cattle operation.
Lowell & Mary Forman
Forman Ranch, Inc.
Lowell & Mary Forman; Floyde Forman; Spencer, Skye, Brogan and Brinley Forman
Our grandchildren are sixth generation ranchers in the Antelope valley. Our ancestors homesteaded here in the late 1800’s. They raised wheat, ran sheep, owned and ran the livery stable in Antelope, held the position of part-time Marshall for Antelope, traded horses, drove mail stage and built roads to survive. Today our only crop is cattle and we market most or our production through Country Natural Beef. Our ground is best suited to grazing. We operate on property we own and private leases in Wasco, Jefferson and Harney counties in Oregon.
We are founding members of Country Natural Beef. Floyde and Spencer grew up with CNB. Mary has been in charge of the finance office for more than 25 years. CNB considers our consumers as a partner. We provide a quality product for their health and enjoyment and they in turn contribute to our sustainability on the land. By interaction with the consumer we gain understanding of their concerns with the environment and food safety and help them realize we are very similar with trials and tribulations and families to feed as well.
Harrell Hereford Ranch
Bob & Becky Harrell
Baker City, Oregon
Harrell’s Hereford Ranch came into existence in 1970 with the purchase of the 69 acre home ranch, by Bob and Edna Harrell. It is located on Salmon Creek Road, 5 1/2 miles northeast of Baker City, Oregon. The ranch today consists of 2500 irrigated acres and 8000 acres of rangeland. Bob Jr., his wife Becky, and Edna manage the ranch, which runs 300 head of Registered Hereford Cows and 300 head of Black Baldy Commercial females.
The Harrell’s pay attention to performance records, mothering ability, good feet and legs, birth weights, cow disposition, and performance growth. The Registered Herd consists of Line 1 and Mark Donald bloodlines. The Commercial cowherd combines the best of Hereford and Angus genetics. The ranch has a 700 head feedlot, where they grow out and performance test all progeny. The Ranch’s annual Bull sale, is held on the first Monday of each March. Bulls, Heifers and Quarter Horses are sold at this time. The Horse bloodlines are from the Weiscamp Skipper W, Two-Eyed Jack, and Smart Chic Olena breeding programs.
In 2000, Harrell’s Hereford Ranch was recognized by the American Hereford Association for producing 23 “Dams of Distinction”. This selection placed them 5th in the United States. A “Dam of Distinction” is the standard by which all Hereford cows are judged. The cow must do her job to meet the ultimate criteria, but her owner must manage the herd correctly to give them the opportunity to excel.
Connie Hatfield, Taylor Hyde & Becky Hatfield Hyde
The passion on this family owned ranch is fitting the cows to the environment. Cattle are selected and bred to live year-round on native bunch grass rangeland and wild meadows and managed in harmony with nature.
The Hatfield’s roots are deep in Oregon ranching beginning with a Donation Land Claim in Western Oregon in 1853.
Doc Hatfield died in 2012, but his legacy lives on through his family, the lives of others he touched, and through the animals and the land that he loved. Doc had a way of bringing others together to solve challenges and to find common ground, building trust and friendships lasting beyond his life time. Linking ranchers with consumers for the benefit of both is a Country Natural Beef principle the Hatfield family is proud to be a part of.
Daughter Becky Hatfield Hyde and Husband Taylor Hyde Manage the ranch now with their family. Thirteen year old grandson Henry has his eyes on running the ranch some day.
Rick & Ronda Heslee
Long Creek, Oregon
Jerald & Tammy Holloway
We are first generation ranchers. We bought our home place in September of 1998. At the time Jerald was busy full time with his livestock hauling business and Tammy worked in town for Northwest Farm Credit Services. We had 200 cows that had been leased out to some friends. We bought 125 more cows with the place, so started out running 325 cows when we took back our leased cows that fall.”?
In the early years, Tammy and the boys were Jerald’s only help. When he was gone trucking they fed cows in the winter and irrigated in the summer in his place in addition to helping with everything when he was home. Over the years, the cattle numbers grew, we leased additional pasture, bought more BLM permits, and bought more ground, all while Jerald trucked full time and ranched part-time and Tammy worked in town 3-4 days per week and the boys attended school.
In the later years, Jerald trucked part-time (still a lot of miles!!) and ranched full time, growing the cow herd, until 2013 when he quit licensing the truck for hire and was able to devote himself to the ranch. He also hired some non family help to work with him to help take care of the cattle and farming which is now spread out over several places that we own or lease.
Currently our oldest son Tyler is in college working towards a Bachelors Degree in an agricultural major and our younger son Colton is a senior in high school. They are still their Dad’s best help and work on weekends and school breaks and often after school for Colton. Tyler talks about maybe coming back to work for the ranch after graduation, but he does not know for sure what he wants to do yet. Colton has become very interested in auto mechanics the last couple of years and speculates that he will not return to the ranch after college, but also does not know yet.
I almost forgot some very important workers at our place, our dogs. We have mostly Border Collies and Border Collie/Kelpie/Catahoula cross dogs. They are an integral part of the operation. Jerald and the boys can get a lot done with the help of their dogs when they are out riding. Good dogs really save their horses a lot of extra miles and enable them to gather and move cattle with less people then it would otherwise take.
Managed by Micah & Jessica Wilson
IZ Ranch, LLC is located in the town of Izee, Oregon, a small outpost along the South Fork of the John Day River about twenty miles east of Paulina. The lush grassland along the South Fork of the John Day River made this land a popular grazing location for cattle and sheep herders in the late 1800s. A ranching boom began in the 1880s and the unique name Izee was born quite spontaneously when the growing population forced the need for a Post Office in the boom-town. A local homesteader and former cavalry man, Carlos Bonham, named the town after his own cattle brand “IZ” when he applied for a postal code as the town’s first postmaster.
The Nelson family purchased the historic IZ Ranch in Izee, Oregon, in 1993 with one goal — to produce beef that will satisfy consumer demands and help support future generations. IZ Ranch is a labor of love, and our unique brand of family values and traditional ranching methods is something that we carry in our blood and are very proud of.
We have spent the past 20+ years restoring the land and property, and investing in the fundamentals to create a truly unique brand of cattle. With our unique experience in the agriculture industry—where we have spent our lives building a family business into a global research and production authority, Plant Sciences, Inc.—we are bringing expertise in research science to the cattle industry.
“Since purchasing the ranch, we’ve been in the process of building a cow herd that represents the attributes that will produce calves with a high-quality carcass, fit consumer demand and sell at a price that will keep our family in this business. We source and age-verify all of our calves and sell them into natural programs, setting them up to capture premiums. Now, genomic technology enhances our vision, and the herd’s potential to succeed,” says founder Richard Nelson, Ph.D. (Angus Beef Bulletin, Oct. 2011).
Ranch Website: http://www.izranch.com/
Kerns Rainbow Ranch
Tim & Julie and Cameron Kerns, Tim & Jan Kerns
Clint & Maureen Krebs, Cameron & Erin Krebs
Sitting on the ruts of the Oregon Trail in Cecil, Oregon; Krebs Livestock is a fifth generation diversified ranching operation. In addition to raising natural beef, we also raise natural lamb, alfalfa hay and wheat. Our ranching operation is transhumant, which means we move livestock to higher elevation pastures in the Spring-Summer months to graze on green grass through the summer, and then move them back lower elevation grasses in the Fall-Winter months.
We are stewards of the land, and it is not only our goal but it is our obligation is to make sure the land is kept healthy. We are in the business of “harvesting sunlight”; through the grasses and shrubs we grow on our ranch. The livestock are the tools we use to insure sustainability of all of the cycles found in nature.
Wannie and Beth Mackenzie
Baker City, Oregon
Mackenzie Ranch Website:
Scott & Vicki McClaran and Jill, Beth, and Maggie McClaran
“Four Generations of Learning How to Best Use & Respect the Land”
McClaran Ranch’s headquarters is located in the small town of Joseph, Oregon. The cattle, however, are pastured all year long on native grasses and forages with limited fences. The cattle are ran in Hells Canyon in the Winter and return to the higher elevation, Chesnimus and Zumwalt Prairie, in the Summer. We have selected genetics over the years to fit our operation and ensure that we have cattle that can handle the rough terrain. Our mother cows are now a majority red/black Angus and Hereford cross. This provides cattle that can perform and excel in the environment, and calves that do well at market. We breed and raise our own horses to ensure they are raised in rough terrain to become sure footed. Our cattle are hormone and antibiotic free, raised on a vegetarian diet. Our BRAND stands for lean, healthy, grass-fed beef and sensible raised horses and colts.
In 1904 C.M. McClaran first traveled to the beautiful Wallowa Valley. Shortly after in 1919 his son, Joe, started the ranch in the lower Imnaha. Originally McClaran Ranch was a sheep operation but during WWII, Joe switched the operation to solely a cattle ranch. When Jack McClaran returned from WWII, and after graduating from the University of Idaho, he and his wife Marjorie returned to the canyons to continue the ranching legacy as well as raise their three children Chris, Katy and current ranch manager, Scott.
Scott, along with wife Vicki, and parents Marjorie and Jack have done what many family businesses have failed to do – attract the next generation back to the ranch. Daughters Jill, Beth, and Maggie following graduation from University Idaho and Oregon State University, have all come back home to the canyons, determined to carry on the ranching legacy started by their great, great, grandfather.
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.
Alec Oliver, JC and Tinka Oliver
In 1866 Joseph Cayton Oliver came to the United States from the Azores Islands of Portugal as a stowaway on a ship. With the gold rush in Canyon City he found plenty of work in the mines and cutting firewood to make money. With his hard work ethic and good humor he made friends very easy. After 12 years in the mines Joe wanted to begin working on a farm or ranch so he began working for a family just outside of John Day for $20 a month. August Gregg, the man Joe worked for, died one day choking on a chicken bone, so Joe stayed around and eventually married the widow Elizabeth.
The two pooled their two herds totaling up to 16 head of Shorthorn and Durham cows. Over the years Joe continued to work his land and help neighbors around picking up more ground as it became available. In 1878 they recorded the A2 brand and in 1895 gave 60 head of heifers to their 6 children. In 1906 a partnership was formed between Joe and his 3 boys Herman, George, and Frank. George died later that year and the other 3 children had left. In 1925 the brand was passed to Frank and Herman who operated the place as equal partners. In 1937 the ownership of the brand was expanded to their wives and children. Five years later Frank’s son Joe and wife Arlene joined the partnership.
In 1949 the partnership known as Oliver Brothers was dissolved and Herman and Eliza paid $5,000 to keep the A2 brand as their personal property. Joe Oliver, the 3rd generation, used the JO brand in which he was well known for his high quality JO Hereford Cows. As the years went on Joe’s son J.C. joined the operation where he soon met his wife Tinka and the two moved to Bear Valley a few years later.
Oliver’s have been on the same place in Bear Valley since 1889 and in the 1970’s they decided to simplify the operation so it would be easier for one man and some help compared the 30 plus employees that worked the land when J.C. and Tinka met. Now the ranch is run by the 4th generation J.C. and his son Alec who is the 5th generation. The two also now share the A2 brand as well as the ranch owning the JO iron.
A ranch that was once comprised of sheep and cattle is now a cow calf and yearling operation, made up of Hereford and Red Angus cattle. It also brings in outside cattle to help graze the additional grass that grows in the spring and summer.
In 2002 J.C. Oliver, Incorporated was awarded as being a Century Ranch thanks to a hard push by Arlene Oliver, J.C.’s mother. In 2012 the ranch was faced with a bit of a hardship when Alec had a motor vehicle accident and became Paralyzed from the sternum down; but with a stubborn attitude and incredible support from friends and family they have found ways to continue the ranching lifestyle with some modifications that allow Alec access to just about everything he did before.
Bear Valley sits at an elevation of 4700 feet. Spring rains play a big part in the summer grasses as do the winter snow packs. It has gone from a winter snow fall of 3-4 feet each winter to 1-2 feet. Being known to be -50 degrees in the winter and never above 85 in the summer, we now see -20 degrees and triple digits in summer. We have always lived by the theory of “Take care of the land and it will take care of you”.
Otley Brothers Ranch
Mary Otley, Fred & Debbi Otley, Sherry Stott and Harry Otley
Otley Brothers is a long time Red Angus ranch located in the high, short grass hills near Diamond, Oregon. The ranch is now operated by Mary Otley, who still works on the ranch at the age of 92, and her son Fred along with his wife Debbie, as well as son Harry and daughter Sherry. The success of this now fourth generation ranch can be attributed to sound management practices, wise genetic decision making, and consistently raising high quality Red Angus cattle.
Dan & Suzy Probert
The Probert Ranch sits on the Zumwalt Prairie which is the largest intact bunchgrass prairie remaining in North America. The Zumwalt Prairie has the largest concentration of raptors in North America which is home to Red Tail Hawks, Ferruginous Hawks, Swainson’s Hawks, Golden Eagles, and Bald Eagles. The ranch works with the Nature Conservancy and other interested entities to preserve working ranches on the prairie through collaboration and implementation of Holistic Management.
Roaring Springs Ranch
Stacy & Elaine Davies, Managers
The historic Roaring Springs Ranch headquarters are located in the sweeping Catlow Valley on the high desert of southeastern Oregon in Harney County. The ranch is a contiguous block of land located between Adel, Fields, and Frenchglen.
In 1872 the cattle baron Pete French occupied the area that includes the present-day ranch and developed a magnificent ranching empire. In the early 1900’s the federal government purchased the heart of the ranch to create the Malheur Wildlife refuge and the remainder of the ranch has since changed hands several times including Eastern Oregon Livestock Company, Swift, and Company, Gill Cattle Company, and Allied Properties, among others. In 1992 the Bob Sanders family of Vancouver, Washington purchased the ranch and they still own it today.
The mission of the Roaring Springs Ranch is to be sustainable: This requires a focus on the economic, ecological, and social functions of our operation.
We are proud of the abundance of diverse wildlife species that share the landscape with our cattle, horses, and ranch families. We are proactive in finding solutions to challenging resource issues. Clean water and air, beautiful scenery, open space, healthy fish, and wildlife species are important outcomes of our management strategies. Through co-operative projects with a multitude of agencies and interested groups and individuals, we are able to ensure healthy ecosystems on our private land as well as our permitted public lands. Projects have focused on sage grouse, bighorn sheep, antelope, deer, elk, neo-tropical migrant birds, raptors, waterfowl, and overall ecosystem health. We are very proud of our wildlife populations and the health of our watersheds.
Roaring Springs Ranch recognizes the importance of the role we play as resource managers and food producers for our urban friends and customers. We are confident about our land and resource stewardship and take many opportunities to share our achievements, direction, failures, and opportunities. We value the input of others and seek opinions on issues that are important and include them in management decisions where appropriate. Involving and communicating with beef consumers, public land users, policy makers, voters and all of those who share our love for America is a responsibility we take seriously.
Cattle fit naturally into this environment with its diversity of vegetation types and over 4000 feet change in elevation. The conversion of grass to beef on rocky, dry sparse rangelands is the most economically sustainable use of our land. Marketing our beef directly to the consumer has insulated us from price swings and non-profitable years so common in the normal cattle business. Attention to detail, long term planning, frugal spending, and a consumer-direct market are the recipe for economic sustainability.
A healthy environment, happy people, and robust economies are not in conflict but in fact, are dependent upon one another. Our job is to leave this ranch in a position to benefit the families of Roaring Springs Ranch for many generations into the future.
Rock N’J Ranch
Chris & Mary Cunningham
Sleeping B Ranch
John and Nancy Boyer
Boyer Ranch, located at the base of the Elkhorn Mountains near Haines, Oregon, is a family owned and operated ranch dedicated to producing quality cattle and sheep. Purchased by John Boyer Sr. in April 1961, the ranch has been in the Boyer family for over fifty years. Our brand has been in our family since the 1840’s
Southworth Brothers Ranch
Jack & Teresa Southworth
The ranch was homesteaded in 1885 as Jack’s great grandfather had a small sawmill and needed some hay for the oxen he used at his mill. Jack’s grandfather, Ed Southworth and his brother, Webster, turned the 160 acre homestead into a cattle ranch by homesteading additional land and acquiring other homesteads that were sold. In addition to the ranch they operated the original Seneca Post Office as well as a store. In the early 1900’s they served as a stagecoach stop and served meals to travelers and proided hay for the stagecoach horses. The state record low temperature was set here in Bear Valley on February 10, 1934 at 54 degrees below zero.
Our philosophy is to manage the grass first. We want a dense stand of healthy, palatable perennial grasses with some shrubs. We want our streams to be lined with willows and good habitat for fish and beaver. We want our forested land to be park-like with trees, mostly Pine, of various ages. We want our cattle to function well in our environment. The cows need to raise a calf every year and their steer offspring need to do well in the CNB finishing lot and make tender, delicious beef.
Triangle Ranches is a “Century Family Farm” located in Morrow and Gilliam counties. Beef cattle and wheat are the commodities raised by Don Anderson & Brad Anderson of Arlington and Mark & Tami Rietmann of Heppner. Brad manages the farming, while Mark and Tami manage the cattle. Don’s Great Grandparents homesteaded in 1892 near Arlington, Oregon where wheat is grown and cattle graze in the spring on the bluffs near the Columbia River. Don’s Grandfather Wash McKinney, known as a real stockman, purchased his first Hereford cattle in 1927. The cow/calf operation today is predominately Hereford. Triangle Ranches markets their cattle through the coop, Country Natural Beef.
Mark & Tami Rietmann live on the cattle ranch near Heppner, Oregon. Tami & Brad’s Great Grandfather Anson Wright came to Morrow County in 1872. His parents Albert and Julia (Barry) Wright came to Oregon via the Oregon Trail in 1853. Anson was only 12 years old when he stayed in the old log cabin on Rock Creek looking after sheep while his father and older brothers would go to The Dalles for supplies. He took out his homestead in 1881 and raised sheep and cattle. Anson’s son Walter and (wife) Mildred eventually made the switch to cattle. Their daughter Patricia married Don Anderson and later on in 1969 combined the cattle herds and began running the century farms as one.
Today Triangle Ranches continues on as a family ranch. The cattle graze Anson’s original homestead, a forest service allotment and leased land from Morrow and Grant Counties OHV Park. Tami and Mark have two daughters, Shelley McCabe & Shanna Sallee. Together with their husbands Adam McCabe and Mike Sallee, they often come home and help out. It takes the whole family to keep the ranch going whether it is harvesting wheat or moving cattle.
Triple Creek Cattle
Scott & Kellie Shear
Randy and Jeanne Warnock
Our family of Warnocks first showed up in Oregon in 1879, having come in a wagon train from Abilene, Kansas with a few horses and very little money. Nancy, the tough mother of nine, having lost her husband in the historic Chapman Creek flood, was persuaded by her six sons to come to Wallowa County. They had heard what a great grass country it was both winter time in the canyons and summer on the Zumwalt Prairie. After about 10 years of building up a sizeable operation, the boys split up and built their own outfits.
Our patriarch, Dan, specialized in horses, lots of them. He raised Thoroughbreds, Clydesdales and mules, with a big emphasis on Thoroughbreds – fast ones. He gained a reputation for winning local races and sold some horses that went on to bigger events. Selling all classes of horses and mules to the Remount Service during World War One, made him quite well to do. It was not going to last. Investments outside of his expertise, in particular banking, did him in and bankruptcy occurred at the end of 1923.
His youngest, also of nine offspring, our father and grandfather, also a Dan, was 17. He helped relocate his parents to the Willamette Valley and get a new start. After struggling through the depression, working for wages, country trading, and raising drop calves for veal, he was able to make a down payment on a small ranch back in Eastern Oregon. It was now 1946, he was 39 years old and this time it was in Sumpter Valley of Baker County. He had tried to get back to Wallowa County but this was more affordable.
In the last 68 years, he and his son Dan, grandson Randy and now Randy’s children have grown the operation to include land in central Oregon, a larger Sumpter ranch and more numbers of livestock supporting the extended families. We are now Warnock Ranches and hopefully, we will continue to grow and provide good beef for increasing numbers of folks into the future.
John & Molly Wilson
North Powder, Oregon
The Wilson family settled in eastern Oregon in 1878 after travelling the Oregon Trail. The original ranch, consisting of 161 acres, was purchased from the State of Oregon and is still owned by the fifth and sixth generation of Wilsons. The family raised cattle from the beginning but diversified at one point to raise and train horses for the army used in WWI. The family is proud of the fact that they started allocating land for wildlife habitat in the 1960’s and have developed riparian protection on all major streams on the ranches.
Gerda Hyde, John & Jerri Hyde, Joe & Laree Jayne