Behind every rancher is a story, the story of their dream. This ranch woman’s dream started while I was growing up feeding on a family dairy heifer replacement operation. I developed my love for cattle at a very young age, working alongside my father in the beautiful Central Valley and Coastal Range of California. As I grew, I made it a goal to own and operate my own dairy replacement facility. I graduated from California Polytechnic University with my B.S. in Dairy Science and minor in Water Science with an emphasis in irrigation. My parents gifted me a Holstein heifer for graduation, and I felt inspired to follow my childhood dream. I raised her and then sold her as a springer and used the money to buy three heifers. Each year I worked hard and kept rolling and building my dairy replacement herd. I learned very fast out of college that being a 5’ nothing girl in agriculture meant a lot of no’s, but I was willing to fight for my passion and work other jobs at the same time to pay the bills.
Things were finally coming together; I made a partnership with an investor and rented irrigated pasture right next door to our home. Finally, an operation that felt good. Sadly, in 2013 dairies in our region started going out of business rapidly. My husband and I made the difficult decision to sell our springers and save up to purchase a beef herd when the “time was right,” which meant putting my dream on hold. We fed other beef cattle in trade for stock to start our own beef herd, but then we lost the lease on the pasture next to our house.
After some convincing we got my Dad to agree to let us run our cattle with his while we built up our beef herd. This allowed us the opportunity to grow our Spring and Fall calving herds. We now have enough cattle to graze hillsides in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Our cattle also graze several irrigated pastures in San Joaquin County.
Now I’m living a dream better than I imagined, raising beef cattle with my own family and selling quality beef directly to local families like yours! Our connection to the land and our community is linked by our cattle, what more could I dream of?