Kelly and Shannon Douglass have raised Black Angus beef cattle since before they married. They now run a cow-calf operation located in Orland, where their meat is raised and harvested locally. “This is the same high-quality beef that we feed our family, and we are pleased to provide it to your family too,” Shannon says.
Douglass Ranch produces wholesome meats right here in Northern California in the most natural way possible. Their beef and pork are raised without antibiotics and without added hormones. “Our beef spends it’s entire life in one zip code,” says Shannon. The Douglass Ranch hogs enjoy a large pen and pasture, and only the number requested by their customers are raised each year.
One of the unique things about Douglass Ranch beef is that it is pasture-raised but grain-finished. “To us, this provides the traditional beef flavor,” Shannon says. The grain is bought locally and the beef is harvested by local butchers and dry aged for amazing flavor.
Growing up on her family’s ranchette, Shannon learned to love the agricultural lifestyle. Kelly was raised on a dairy farm in Northern California and comes from a long line of farmers and ranchers. Both were active in 4-H and FFA growing up. The couple met in Chico while attending college pursuing agriculture degrees (she at CSU, Chico; he at Butte College), and married a few years later in 2006.
Photos courtesy of Matt Salvo/California Farm Bureau Federation.
At the request of family and friends, they began marketing some of their beef and pork directly to customers about five years ago. Customers can order halves and quarters of beef from the website. They can also purchase individual cuts almost every weekend at the downtown Chico Saturday farmers market or through the Windmill Farm CSA in Gridley. “We do some Facebook specials, too, so that is another great place to find us.”
According to Shannon, “Kelly does most of the heavy lifting while I work with the customers.” “Heath (the couple’s two-year-old son) helps with marketing,” jokes Shannon. “Not really, he just hangs out at market,” she adds.
Douglass Ranch beef starts at $5 per pound, which is competitive for natural beef. Shannon says, “The steaks are a bit higher-end, but most customers think it’s worth it for the dry-aged flavor.”
Kelly and Shannon are active in the California Young Farmers and Ranchers program. Shannon serves on the state committee and was the 2007 California Farm Bureau Federation’s Discussion Meet State Champion.
When asked who inspires them Shannon says, “Our customers are really amazing. They are so supportive and have been so understanding as we balance our family and work life. It is great getting to know their families, providing them with wholesome beef and having them watch our son grow.”
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