MARCH RANCH SPOTLIGHT
Well, Howdy Y’all! I hope March has been as fast and fun for you as it has for us! Are the flowers blooming in your neck of the woods, yet? This month’s Ranch Spotlight is on BB Cattle Company, located for more than fifty years near Connell in Franklin County, in the south east corner of Washington State.
Bill Bennett founded the ranch, and that is where the famous “BB” takes its name. Today, the ranch is still a family operation and the spry Mr. Bill Bennett at 86 years old, still consults and is the primary communicator for the ranch. Bill has been married to the love of his life, Norma, for sixty-five years and she is the head cook and bottle washer for the ranch, and also helps maintain the records. Together, Bill and Norma are the proud parents of four, grandparents to twelve, and great grand-parents to thirteen!
Joe Bennett, one of Bill and Norma’s children, is the second in command and overseas the daily operations of the ranch, and drives the feed truck. Jay, who is the grandson of Bill and Norma, and the son of Joe, currently manages the day to day maintenance of the ranch and is farming under his own company name.
Then, of course, if you want something done right you need some female help, right? Joe Bennett has some great daughters that help out with the ranch. Leslie Bennett is referred to by her family as the “resident expert of all things cattle.” The Bennett’s say that if you need to know anything about a bull, steer, heifer, or cow on the place, then the person to ask is Leslie. Leslie and Norma also serve as the ranch liaisons to the American Hereford Association and handle all the registrations and DNA testing. Another daughter, Jolene Bennett, helps work the cattle when needed and participates in everything from riding and sorting to tagging and tattooing. Then, there is Traci Bennett and her two year old daughter Natalie, who regularly make the drive over from Pasco, WA to help out on the ranch when needed. Last, but not least is Whitney Bennett, the youngest daughter. She is currently finishing her degree in animal science and will join the ranch next summer, but regularly helps out when she can. Among Whitney’s talents is her understanding of technology. Her use of computer skills contributes to the successful use of technology on the ranch.
As you can see, it takes a team to keep the BB Cattle Company’s 1,100 head of seed stock American Herefords successful and growing. Bill Bennett started out working for Harold Thompson, who also raised Herefords in the 1960’s. Bill worked up to being partners with Harold, and when Harold retired from the business Bill continued on and made the BB what it is today. Mr. Bennett has perpetually served the American Hereford Association including serving on the board of directors from 1985 to 1991. He also helped create Certified Hereford Beef which ultimately gave this guy an opportunity! Thanks Sir!
BB Cattle Company takes pride in their Herefords for longevity, carcass quality, disposition, and maternal traits. The ranch believes in never taking anything for granted, “because raising quality, purebred Hereford cattle requires vigilance and a tremendous amount of team work.” The ranch work bonds the Bennett family together through working hard and as a team. That bonding gives the ranch a sense of purpose and security that all are working for the same goal. Passing on what they’ve learned from the past and watching the next generation of Bennett’s continuing on with raising Herefords is an essential goal of the family. Sure sounds like a pretty good life to us here at CHB.
Looking towards the future, BB Cattle Company has expanded operations to Nacogdoches, Texas, where the BB bulls, cows, and heifers are finding their way into the Texas marketplace. The ranch produces some of their own feed by growing corn and hay. They also diversify by maintaining a small herd of black Angus cattle since 1991. The Bennett’s state, “We believe that in order to remain competitive in the market place, we must be diverse. Thus, we have introduced varied breeds into our herd over the years, such as Braford, Brangus, Simmental, Shorthorn, and Wagyu. But,because of the inherent traits that the Hereford breed possesses, they have remained our breed of choice and will continue to maintain this distinction for many years to come.
To get in touch with the BB Cattle Company you can reach them at their website- http://www.bbcattle.com . Or, find your way to Connell for their annual bull sale that’s been going on for more than fifty years. It’s always the second Monday in February and they’d love to have you. In addition, they continue to sell bulls, cows, and heifers throughout the year.
Certified Hereford Beef appreciates the Bennett’s for letting us get to know them and the BB Cattle Company. We look forward to having them around for many years to come. Remember, if you know of a ranch you’d like to hear more about, or want to have your ranch spotlighted ,then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org attention: ranch spotlight. In the meantime, enjoy the beautiful spring and take time to pick the wildflowers!