Rancher Spotlight: Lambert Ranch
If you ever find yourself North of Sacramento around Oroville, California, then you’re in Lambert Ranch country. Actually, any part around Northern California could be considered Lambert Ranch country. The ranch is headquartered in Oroville, but has locations in Butte Valley, Chico, Alturas, and Chester, California. The ranch has been headquartered in Oroville since 1990, but traces its beginning’s back to 1974 when Steve Lambert started showing Herefords. His first 4-H project was a Hereford steer that his dad purchased for him. The next year he bought him four Hereford cows and the rest is history as they say. Steve grew up on the Creekside Ranches that his family owned and operated in Sonoma and Oroville, California. When his dad passed away, Steve bought the best of the Creekside program and started Lambert Ranch in Oroville. Today, the ranch is a cow-calf operation that calves out 200 registered cows and has around 500 yearlings. “That is a fluid number on the yearlings as they are like trying to keep water in a strainer”, adds Steve.
The ranch also has the “Next Generation Bull Sale” every October where they market and sell the majority of their bulls. Today, the ranch is run by Steve, Janet and son Clayton. The rest of the kids- Nathan, Meghan, and Rossy- help out when they can between work and school. However, I’m warning you and I quote Janet and Steve as saying-“Pretty much anybody who stops in and stays long enough will get suckered into helping out.” Now friends, I think there are times when it is necessary to put on your Sunday clothes and leave the truck running while visiting. It sure makes someone less apt to put you to work!
Steve jokes that his dad chose Herefords back in 1974 because, “that’s all there was”, and they have been in business with them ever since. However, he also says that after raising a few other popular breeds through the years, “Herefords have been the most reliable and profitable for me. You can’t beat the disposition and maternal instinct.” He also believes the best traits of Hereford are durability, disposition, and do-ability. If you make your living in agriculture in the pretty state of California, then you’re always worried about water. The most important thing the Lambert Ranch worries about is water for
the future. They are always looking for the next rain and would surely welcome any prayers for rain sent their way. It is amazing to think that in the time of such great demand for our product and potential for profits, that it would be the most basic of necessities that could end production. Like a lot of us that have been through a drought, we know it’s not pretty and it’s never over soon enough. But, it sure makes you appreciate the rain and thank God for that wonderful wet stuff when it shows up.
Lambert Ranch like many other ranches has learned that it takes more than just cows to stay in business. “Adapt, adapt, adapt. Always be open minded and aware of the industry needs, starting with your buyer all the way through to the consumer”, says Steve, and spoken like a true cattleman. If you’re not sure what our industry needs are then I encourage you to reach out to Steve and Janet or Certified Hereford Beef Supply Chain Manager, Trey Befort. They can get you some information to help bring your heard up to spec.
In addition to their excellent Herefords, Lambert Ranch also has 18,000 walnut trees planted at their headquarter operations. The ranch plants grain hay in the winter and watermelon in the summertime between the tree rows to make use of the fertile soil. Their multi-use of the land emphasizes that cattle ranchers are true environmentalists. Janet says, “Without us being good stewards of the land and livestock then the quality open spaces and recharge zones that people enjoy so much would fail to exist.” Think about it. If we didn’t do more with less, then what impact would that have on the environment? Today, more beef is raised with fewer inputs than twenty years ago and I bet that number continues to climb as we continue researching genetics and inputs.
Steve sums up our visit with the Lambert Ranch- “ranching is not a job- it’s a lifestyle. I enjoy the cattle, the people and being able to work with my family.
“We thank Lambert Ranch for taking the time to visit with us. If you are interested in knowing more about them, or want to attend their bull sales, then reach out and follow them on Facebook at Lambert Ranch. http://www.facebook.com/lambertranchherefords If you want to see a bird’s eye view of the ranch then follow Nathan as he you takes you on a tour via a go pro camera. You won’t be disappointed you joined. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMvJD09bQUc
Thanks again for visiting with us.
May your grass be belly high and your troubles ankle deep,